The personal blog of a Melbourne University Law & Arts(Asian Studies)graduate...my thoughts, opinions,and life experiences...
Thursday, February 09, 2006
Korean Film Pick: You are My Sunshine 你是我的命運 君は私の運命だ
This was a box office and critically applauded film in 2005 in Korea dealing with a prostitute and a farmer in a village in rural Korea. The film dealt with many issues SPOILER ALERT (please do not read on from this point if u do not want to know some of the issues that come up, i will however not divulge the ending nor the major plot, just touch on the issues that comes up) namely, AIDS, prostitution and the oppression of women in Korea. It starred the capable Jeon Do-yeon and the first half was extremely melodramatic and romantic and you would think that this film would be one of those boy meets girl and both happen to be at the bottom of society and will live happily ever after, well you would be wrong. The second half of the film had a complete change in tone and many things occur as you discover that the prostitute has a past which comes back to haunt her and she had escaped to the village to get away from her past. Further, the topic of AIDS was seriously dealt with especially the discrimination against people with HIV in Korea. The status of women and how prostitutes and women were treated in Korea was also broached upon in the film, showing the unacceptable treatment meted out to them. I also found interesting the prostitution business which was shown in the film whereby the brothel is actually a coffee shop which dones the usual coffee and cakes business but had a 'special coffee delivery' service whereby customers would 'order coffee' by ringing in and the girls would deliver the coffee on their bikes to the motel and of cos the men were not really after the coffee and so they would have a transaction and thus the coffee delivery was a cover for them. I wonder whether this kind of prostitution service really occurs in Korea, cos its the first time i've heard of this kinda 'take-away service'. The film is one of the best Korean films i've seen from 2005, indeed, one of the best films of 2005, dealing with a whole range of issues such as AIDS, women, domestic violence(this is the scene where one prostitute remarks about the 'art' done on another woman's face),prostitution,etc....it was really very melodramatic and kinda cliche but it worked so well that it was emotionally draining on me and i ended up crying not once but TWO times and my faith in the male gender once again took a nose dive....there was one particular scene which traumatised me deeply, it was a short 30 sec scene but it truly made me disgusted. However, for some men, i am pretty sure they would consider that scene rather tame given the kinda things they watch in their spare time (yuck!!). However, besides that particular scene, the entire movie is not too violent nor sex-riddled and is incredibly realistic and frank in its portrayal of the characters at the same time as being incredibly melodramatic. I know its difficult to understand how it can be frank and yet melodramatic at the same time but it is a carefully crafted film which manages to effect the perfect balance between the two. Recommended!!! Five stars out of Five (basically any film that can make me cry, esp cry twice, will get five stars from me).