A young Korean woman going postal in a giant bulldozer in a fashion that would make Marvin Heemeyer proud?
Honestly, that is an oversimplification of this film. “The Girl on a Bulldozer” which is one of the most fascinating character studies I have seen in quite some time and it one of the best film to come out this year.
“The Girl on a Bulldozer” begins with a young girl named Goo Hye-young (Kim Hye-yoon) who is an emotional hothead whose had a rough go of things in the last few years. Her mother passed away years ago, her father is financially unstable screw up who can’t seem to get his life together, and she is the only responsible person in the life of her little brother.
One night, her father is severely injured in a car accident that he is blamed for causing. Hye-young is stuck having to manage her father’s finances and businesses with no money of her own. When she goes to talk to the insurance company, she realizes that the official story that was given to the police doesn’t match the surroundings of the crash site. Hye-young suspects that the other family involved in the crash are covering up the truth of what happened that night which leads her to a local government candidate who she believes is responsible for the cover-up.
Hye-young has never been good with people and she is going to get to the bottom of her’s father accident the only way she knows how to make the situation worse.
“The Girl on a Bulldozer” lives on the performance of Kim Hye Yoon who plays a very nuanced protagonist. Under anyone else’s lead, this would be a character that would work the impatience of the audience rather than have them sympathize with her. Kim Hye Yoon’s performance of a teenage girl who has been forced to deal with the harsh reality of growing up and taking the workload of responsible far bigger than someone in her age range can handle makes her a very complex character.
The story is a slow burn that starts off as a drama but shifts into a mystery with many layers that brings you back into the camp of the main character. Unlike woke American trash, “The Girl on a Bulldozer” does good social commentary about debt and the struggles of good people when they are presented with hard times. Not every decision Hye-young makes is a smart one but it is the expected reaction of a teenage girl whose life has come crashing down on her seemingly overnight.
The film concludes with a Bulldozing rampage of property damage but the movie leading up to that point has so much more meat and potatoes leading up to it. “The Girl on a Bulldozer” is a fascinating character study on par with another film “Infinite Storm” from earlier this year and both films are likely to be top 10 candidates for best of 2022.
Life comes at us hard but “The Girl on a Bulldozer” is just the captivating mystery film we need in the current age of cinematic creative bankruptcy.