3 January 2008 | agbrianlee355
Involving atmosphere, but lacking a certain something
I decided to watch this movie solely because Hwang Jin-Yi was a famous person of my country's past. Also, I would be lying if I said I didn't watch it to see Song Hae-Gyo as the main role.
Unfortunately I was caught by these traps.
Firstly, if you are watching this movie in order to learn historic facts, don't bother. Almost half of the movie involves senseless fighting and unpleasant sensuality, while trying to immerse viewers into the absent plot line.
**TINY SPOILER** Clichés are existent. It's the same old thing: Two young friends are tragically split up because of an overly dominating father, the girl goes through physical/mental hardships (becoming a kisaeng) while the boy trains to fight enemies and ultimately to meet back with his childhood friend. **SPOILER END**
The first parts of the movie pathetically try to involve viewers emotionally by using children to enhance our pity for their tragic separation, and grab the attentions of fight-scene lovers by including a brutal battle scene. While these kept me interested in the short-term, I can't say the same about the rest of the film.
Some good points: What can I say about korean movie actors? Beautiful, accurate and gets-to-the-point expressions. Although this film was Song Hae-Gyo's first movie, she does an incredible job bringing up clear emotions according to the situation.
The atmosphere was excellent almost throughout the whole film. Dark, brutal and tense lighting keeps audiences suspenseful and wondering what terrible event will happen next. (Very similar to Sympathy for Lady Vengeance) The music is average, as it doesn't include memorable scene-music (like Old Boy did) but suited the situation alright.
Overall, in my opinion, this movie used korean must-know historic facts and famous actors to make people interested and to get them to watch it. This is not excellent, but not a disaster either. You may enjoy it if you're a fan of tragic love stories, but other than that, nothing is special here. 5/10