Mongryong marries the beautiful Chunhyang without telling his father, the Governor of Namwon. When his father is transferred to Seoul, Mongryong has to leave Chunhyang and finish his exams.... See full summary »
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Mongryong marries the beautiful Chunhyang without telling his father, the Governor of Namwon. When his father is transferred to Seoul, Mongryong has to leave Chunhyang and finish his exams. Chunhyang, being the daughter of a courtesan, is also legally a courtesan. She is beaten and imprisoned when she refuses to obey the new Governor Byun, as she wishes to be faithful to her husband. After three years, Mongryong passes his exam and becomes an emissary to the King. He returns to Namwon, disguised as a beggar, just before Chunhyang is to be flogged to death at the governor's birthday celebration. Written by
First, this movie is the first 'Chunhyang' that is exhibited to Western movie fan even though so many 'Chunhyang's has been produced in Korea.
Second, this movie is the first 'Chunhyang' that emphasizes Mongryong rather that Chunhyang. Usually in many a love story a beautiful heroine is likely to be an element of deploying story and get mass concern. After seeing love story, movie fans remember the beauty of heroine like Olivia Hussey in "Romeo and Juliet" or Vivian Leigh in "Gone with the Wind." But, in this film you may see much more Close Ups of Mongryong than Chunhyang, and you may not remember the beauty of Hyo-Jeong Lee. In my opinion, Hyo-Jeong Lee may be one of two actresses who fail to get stardom despite her title role of Chunhyang in the history of Korean Cinema - the other one was Na-Seong Lee who played Chunhyang about fifteen years ago. Usually contemporary stars or rising stars played Chunhyang - for example, legendary Eun-Hee Choi(1961) and Mi-Hee Jang(1976).
And it is related with third factor, which is considered very important by Western critics. This film is the first Chunhyang which is combined with 'pansori,' Korean epic which is played by one singer and one drummer. The relation of Director Im Kwon-Taek's 'Chunhyang' and pansori is the same as Francis Ford Coppola's 'Dracula' and Bram Stoker's original.
One thing more, the marriage of Chunhyang, the daughter of ex-courtesan, and Mongryong, the son of high bureaucrat, can be interpreted equality between ruling class and ruled class. But this interpretation is only as available as the interpretation that the marriage of Cinderella and a Prince means equality between classes in Western culture.
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