The feature film Double Patty (더블패티) is a thoughtful slice of life drama about a pair of young adults trying to find their way and fighting for their dreams, even if they may not know what those dreams might be just yet.
Woo Ram (Shin Seung Ho) walked away from ssireum, Korean wrestling, after the death of his friend and mentor. He looks for part time work while he tries to deal with the unexpected loss. One night, he meets aspiring television anchor Hyun Ji (Bae Joo Hyun) who works at a 24-hour hamburger restaurant. Feeling similarly lost and lonely, the two become friends while trying to find their place in life.
Double Patty deals with Woo Ram and Hyun Ji overcoming grief and hardship and their journeys to find a way to move forward and keep going. The film isn’t about some kind of central conflict or battle against some evil antagonist. Instead, it is a character-driven narrative where the struggle is an emotional one deep inside. In finding themselves and believing in themselves, Woo Ram and Hyun Ji embark on their journey toward a goal that is at the same time clear yet uncertain.
Bae Joo Hyun, better known as Red Velvet’s Irene, makes her major acting debut and may feel a bit reserved or feels like she is holding back at times in the film. But the character of Hyun Ji doesn’t necessarily require much of her. Though she has starred in a short web series in 2016, making her feature film debut is no small feat. She nonetheless delivers in the role and does a solid job of depicting a young woman who may be lost, but still remains determined for forward looking. It will be interesting to see the types of roles she may take on in the future as she shows good potential here.
But the focus is on Shin Seung Ho who is such a charismatic actor. He has played similar characters in his three television roles so far and absolutely excelled in his acting debut in At Eighteen. He may have strong features on the surface, but in At Eighteen he was able to deliver a carefully nuanced and affecting performance. Here in Double Patty, he is able to show a different side as he effortlessly conveys a tough exterior while allowing for a quiet vulnerability and ultimately, a warm and kindhearted nature.
Together, they share a good chemistry that leads to an ultimately fulfilling climax.
As a character-driven slice of life drama, Double Patty does a great job of developing Woo Ram and Hyun Ji as distinct and deep characters. Shin Seung Ho and Irene, along with the solid writing, are able to endear both characters almost immediately. And that is very important in this kind of pensive, thoughtful film.
Depicting relatable every day struggles, it is easy to be engaged by the story and the performances. Ultimately, Double Patty is a well-produced contemplative and hopeful film well worth your time.