New York Asian Film Festival 2022
Son Ho-jun, Lee Kyu-hyung, Heo Sung-tae
Working in the car loan business, Young-bae (Son Ho-jun) is in trouble because his friend Dong-sik (Lee Kyoo-hyung), who is heavily in debt, has disappeared with a Lamborghini worth $300,000. His boss (Heo Sung-tae) puts a lot of pressure on him to find the luxury car, because unbeknownst to the employee, an illegal cargo has been hidden in it by a local gang. Young-bae has recently lost his father, who left him his old Hyundai Stellar. By a twist of fate, he drives this ramshackle, noisy car that can't go faster than 50 km/h in search of the Lambo, and tries to escape the thugs who are after him...
Directed by Kwon Soo-Kyung (MY ANNOYING BROTHER) from a screenplay by Bae Se-young (EXTREME JOB, Fantasia 2019), STELLAR: A MAGICAL RIDE is partly an action comedy, with several amusing chase scenes and fights. It’s also the moving story of a son who was on bad terms with his father at the time of his death, but who is gradually reconciled with him from beyond the grave, via the Stellar, which is inhabited by his late father's soul. For yes, as the title suggests, there is magic in STELLAR: A MAGICAL RIDE, where the car driven by Young-bae often acts up and expresses itself via its headlights, radio and blinkers, reminiscent of Herbie in THE LOVE BUG or Stephen King and John Carpenter’s CHRISTINE. The film also captures the economic anxiety present in South Korean society, with many of the characters encountered along the way struggling to make ends meet. Sometimes, to quote J-F Pauzé, life really is like an old car... – Translation: Rupert Bottenberg
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