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
This is not just a movie, in the way that Americans, like myself, usually conceptualize contemporary film. Perhaps, it might be interesting, as a learning experience, to view "Chunghyang" with "Gladiator" to understand that these are two distinct art forms, devised by two distinct cultural traditions to tell important stories. I was thrilled to find this film so 'other', so un-American, so un-MTV. A Korean storytelling/operatic tradition is fused with beautiful filming. Dialogue, as the actors play out the story, is interlaced very comfortably with a storyteller's narrative in a sutra-chanting, poetic style, accompanied by one drummer. The storyteller's voice is a remarkable asset of the film. It has to be experienced to understand its power. I thought the film used very sophisticated editing to blend the highly operatic story line with the teller's narrative on stage and with a wonderful middle-Korean, as in middle-American, audience. This omniscient viewing perspective, affording views of several different levels of concurrent existence, was really wonderful. Then, I remembered in the middle of the film that I was reading subtitles without a trace of annoyance or distraction from the visuals. Very nicely done all around. I felt enriched, educated and entertained.
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