By: Mut Asheru
Mr. Perfect (백프로) (Baek-peu-ro) directed by Kim Myeong-gyoon (김명균) is a quaint Korean film about a you know-it-all professional golfer Se-jin (Yoon Si-yoon, 윤시윤) who gets too big for his britches and is brought down a peg or two by his bad decisions. He not only loses someone close to him due to his bad temper but also loses his voice and ultimately his career as well.
His chance for redemption arrives in the form of a picturesque island village complete with a cast of wonky village natives and their lovable kids. He is asked to become the golf coach for the athletically challenged children who are at risk of losing their school. They believe that by being able to compete in and win a gold competition that their school will be granted a second life.
Mr. Perfect (as he’s referred to by the media) hates kids and arrives on the island full of bitterness and despair but through the force of the children’s love he comes to need them just as much as they need him. His past becomes something that makes him a stronger, better athlete and human being.
Not a ground-breaking script by any means the narrative is totally predictable but it doesn’t detract from the feel good vibe of the movie. As the villagers are transformed one by one by the power of Se-jin’s presence you will still find yourself smiling in all the right places. It’s not a perfect film but the acting is strong and the capable cast takes what could have been dull, formulaic characters and transforms them into the opposite bringing them to life. Lee Won-jong (이원종) does light-hearted very well while Chun Ho-jin (천호진) is always a welcome sight who adds an appropriate mixture of failure and possibility to his character as the alcoholic principle. One of the most palpable performances is delivered by the young Yeo Jin-goo (여진구). I believe his every word and every tear. This young actor is one of the films greatest strengths.
So while the script may be a bit lacking the film pulls through nicely on the strength of its casting and direction.
Alternatively titled: “Professional Mr. Baek”