Genre: Romance, Period
Written by: Ha Young-Join, Jeon Yun-su, Song Hye-jin
Directed by: Park Heung-sik
Starring: Han Hyo-joo, Chun Woo-hee, Yoo Yeon-sook
Running time: 120 mins
I feel like my posts for the past few weeks have been more on the negative side and it’s just that life has not been super great haha. But I’m trying to incorporate more reviews into my upcoming posts just to balance out between my personal and “work” posts. So yeah, hope you guys enjoy this review.
Btw, I have updated my cover picture for my reviews because I just don’t really like the previous style I used.
Fact #9: I love Harry Potter so much! My all-time favourite series.
What’s it about?
A heartbreaking story that took place during the Imperial Japanese occupation of Korea in the 40s. They started out as best friends with the same dreams, but they separated ways when one decided to pursue another dream instead. It depicts how jealousy can lead to hate and betrayal that they can’t ever change.
Well, I just realised that this is actually my very first movie review!
This may sound odd, but I don’t really watch a lot of movies, especially Korean movies. Believe it or not, while I really enjoy watching K-dramas, I don’t particularly enjoy K-movies. For some reasons, I just don’t really like the vibe of them. I have watched several of them throughout the years, but none of them has blown me away until this day. I honestly found the way they shoot made it feel tedious and a bit bland. I don’t know if it’s just me or any of you guys also feel the same about K-movies. Leave me some of your thoughts down below!
I’ll give you a spoiler alert warning whenever I may spoil the story too much but the majority of this review will be spoiler-free, just be aware.
First, let’s start off with the good things about this movie: the thing I like the most from this movie is its stunning visual detail. Quoting from one of my classes, every shot is like a work of art. The lighting and colour palette is dreamy, perfectly depicted the mellowness of the overall plot. The detail of the “semi-modern” city—from the small shops to the transportation.
I’m not sure why, but I’m always drawn to plot took place in the 30-40s so much. It’s like my favourite era ever? There are so many richness and stories to be told from this era: life of local citizen that just want to lay low avoiding any attention, people who want to secretly fight for freedom, the upper class who befriends the Japanese and do not really care for freedom, or even from the perspective of a Japanese. I just want to see every plot possibilities to be made into real movies/dramas.
Sorry, I got a bit carried away for a moment. But what I want to say is that the visuals of this movie got an A+ from me.
Moving on, the plot itself isn’t anything new. [Spoiler alert] Two friends and one man, everyone knows what happens afterward. It’s not my favourite plot ever, simply because it sucks, it always happens when two women get involved with the same man, everywhere—in movies nor real life. I just don’t like a lose-lose situation. Because honestly, what would you expect? Both the friendship and relationship will break into pieces, and at least two parties will get hurt if the man turns out to be a complete jerk who just treats love for fun. [Spoiler ends]
Han Hyo-joo has always been one of my favorite actress of all time. I love her performance so much both in Dong Yi and W — Two Worlds. But this is the first time I saw her character turned into the “bad” side. Strangely enough, I kinda like that. I’m kinda getting bored seeing heroines who remained a sweetheart till the end. When in reality, not so many people will actually do that. What So-yool did is completely humanely for me, well, not that I agree that sending your former best friend to be raped is acceptable. But she herself had nothing more to lose, she had already lost and given up everything for the sake of revenge.
If I were to be honest, I despise Yoon-hee and Yoon-woo so much more. Especially Yoon-woo who basically started the flame. He’s a liar and cheater who just happened to have a pretty face. He deserved to lose as much as So-yool did. As for Yoon-hee, this may be petty so say, but in situation like this, 99% of the time the “former best friend” is the one I hate the most. There won’t be any fire without smoke. And she’s the one who let the flame became bigger.
Oh gosh, I just hate situation where nobody wins.
Let’s end the characters discussion here and instead I want to share some of my thoughts on some real issue about women. As we all know, a gisaeng or geisha is a female entertainer who also provide sexual services to men. They are often described as a flower in men’ bed. Yeah, women used to be treated so low in the history, it’s so devastating to think about. I know it’s all in the past already, but even until today, has it completely been over? No. When will it be over? Nobody knows. We may not see it right before our eyes, but women all over the world are constantly facing this kind of degradation of their dignity.
A real example from myself, I just thought about this yesterday as I was walking alone. I was walking alone in the street to return to my campus and I felt a bit anxious as I found some men were staring at me for the whole time and some whistled across the street. I wasn’t even wearing any “revealing” clothes, well, even if I did, why should it matter?
As a female, why do I have to feel anxious for walking down the street alone or to go out in the middle of the night?
This experience alone had made me pretty uncomfortable, I can’t imagine how women out there who was being assaulted and threatened every single day must be feeling.
I just shared some of my thoughts regarding the issue. I can go on and on but since this post is a movie review, let’s continue with that.
This movie isn’t amazing, but I actually had a rather high hope for the ending. I mean, I’m not that disappointed with the ending but I think they could have done better. I’m not really sold on that. Sure, I like the idea of having her as the only “survivor” from the past, but the way they did it is just kinda bumpy for me. I think it’s not even a surprise element to the story. The moment when she claimed her best friend’s identity just gave me chill, the jealousy just never gone away. My only real complain of the movie is that I suppose. (I’m trying to let out as little spoiler as possible, so I don’t mention the name here)
Overall, does the movie deliver everything well? Yes. Again, big thumbs up to the cinematography. I wish they could make a drama version of it set in the same place, but with a different plot please.
Last but not least
Hope you guys enjoy this review. If you like a visually stunning movie, give it a shot, it’s only a 2-hour movie anyway. I think you won’t be disappointed even if you don’t really like the plot. See you guys next week, bye!