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Based on the novel 'Les Liaisons Dangereuses,' this film is set in aristocratic 18th-century Korea at the end of the Chosun Dynasty. The irresistible temptress Lady Cho asks her cad of a younger cousin, Jo-won, to deflower the innocent young Soh-ok, who is to become her husband's concubine. But, his attentions soon shift to the graceful and aloof Lady Sook, who lives according to her convictions as a Catholic. Jo-won becomes obsessed with seducing this chaste woman who has remained celibate for nine years since her husband's death. However, conquering the most virtuous woman in the land proves to be more difficult than Chosun's notorious playboy expects.Written by
Sujit R. Varma
I absolutely adore the version directed by Stephen Frears (starring Malkovich and Glose) so i was very interested what Koreans had made out of it. Korean films that I have seen that far are very interesting, they have quite a different approach then Western movie makers.
I think it was a good and intense film and the historical Korean scenery added a lot. Still, I think that Frears'is film is way stronger. The only acting work that stood out stronger then Frears'is characters, was the lady who played the virtous Madam Sook (Michelle Pfeiffer's character in Frears'is version). This was an incredibly strong performance and I liked it more then Pfeffer's approach.
As to the others they slightly lacked detail and depth. Overall, the Korean protagonists were no match to John Malkovich and Glenn Close. And the whole lot of other characters, both men and women, looked and acted in such a similar way that it took me some time to distinct them from each other.
However, the film was still very interesting to watch and all this historical Korean world was beautifully shot. The film got better at the end and when the bad guy changed it was really moving and believable. Specially the last scene with him on the beach. I also very much liked the scene between him and Madam Sook in the library.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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