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My Friend & His Wife (2006)

Naui chingu, geuui anae (original title)
(Korean with English subtitles) Two best friend, one a successful businessman, the other a happily married father - one irrevocable accident changes their lives forever - and stuck in ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
So-hee Hong ...
Ji-sook
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mahbub Alam
Jean-Sébastien Bressy ...
A foreign trader
Joo-hee Eun
Hyeong-seong Jang ...
Ye-joon
Kyeong-hee Kim
Kyeong-jin Kim
Hee-soon Park ...
Jae-moon
Gi-hong Woo
Sang-Jeon Woo
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Storyline

(Korean with English subtitles) Two best friend, one a successful businessman, the other a happily married father - one irrevocable accident changes their lives forever - and stuck in between is the woman they both love. Sex, death and betrayal push the bonds of friendship and marriage to the breaking point in this gripping drama. Written by Anonymous

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Friendship of two men becomes a big question, when their life paths turn in the opposite directions.

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Drama

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27 November 2008 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

A barátom és a felesége  »

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1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Rich and compelling melodrama with a strong social allegory
4 August 2007 | by (Melbourne, Australia) – See all my reviews

I haven't seen either of Shin Dong-il's other films but after seeing My Friend & His Wife I certainly want to. It takes a sobering look at loyalty, asking "How do we choose between our friends, our lovers and our selves?" The story is classic melodrama but the style is unobtrusive and naturalistic, until the tumultuous finale.

The three lead actors are all very good, with Park Hee-soon a standout as a struggling cook trying to juggle his commitment to his demanding wife and high-achieving longtime best friend. Jang Hyeong-seong plays the friend with fiery conviction, by turns loathsome and pathetic, and Hong So-hee brings a world of depth and feeling to her role as the wife. One scene, a single take of her sitting alone in front of a mirror, speaks volumes about her desperation and yearning for affection.

Aside from the human drama, however, the film serves as an angry allegory about South Korea's relationship with the West, in particular France and the US (a common thread in recent South Korean cinema). Many overt references to globalisation, the People's Revolution and the struggle between blue and white collar classes make clear the fact that Shin has a point to make. Jae-moon and Ye-joon represent polar opposites - Jae-moon is an earthy, family-oriented man, frequently shown cleaning up the mess caused by others (particularly Ye-joon), while Ye-joon is driven by money and prestige. In the middle, Ji-sook seems to represent the aspirational working class who longs to shake off the routine of a workaday existence and move on to better things. The allegory is a clever device that adds further relevance to an already potent story.

My Friend & His Wife only confirms the fact that Korean cinema is alive and well and has a bright future.


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