If you woke up tomorrow and everything about your life was different, would you still be you? That’s the driving question of Jung Jin-young’s directorial debut Me and Me, a delicate existential drama that deepens and surprises with each passing minute.
In a small Korean town, primary school teacher Soo-hyuk (Bae Soo-bin) lives in almost perfect harmony with his wife Yi-young (Cha Su-yeon), except that at night she changes, her everyday shy demeanor psychologically morphing into any number of unhinged personas. Feeling threatened by what she could do, the neighboring villagers request that she be locked up in her room at night. The couple complies but Soo-hyuk insists on being confined with his wife too, so as not to be separated from his love, and soon after, a terrible tragedy occurs. From here, the film shifts focus to local policeman Hyung-gu (Cho Jin-woong), tasked with investigating what happened to the bright, young couple. As he spends time with the villagers, who are trying to hide their own involvement in what happened, Hyung-gu gradually begins to lose his grip on reality and, ultimately, his own identity.
To say more about the plot would be to spoil Me and Me’s narrative pleasures, especially considering the way Jin-young slowly teases out his story in a way that ensures we’re never quite sure where it’s headed. While the film’s aesthetic can be a little rough around the edges at times, the mystery at the center of it keeps us riveted and Jin-young keeps a light touch of humour throughout, especially as the hapless Hyung-gu gets increasingly confused by his new dilemma.
In the end, Me and Me doesn’t succumb to easy puzzle box machinations either, preferring to allow ambiguity to linger in the final frames as if we’re chasing an evaporating dream.