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On a very cold winter morning, two friends meet after many years. Hun-joon who has just got back from USA after his film studies and Mun-ho, a part time lecturer at a university, reminisce over the past, drinking in a Chinese restaurant. Hours of drinking and talks, mixed with the recollections of the past bring them back the memory of a woman. A woman they both were romancing during the same period of time. After wandering in their own version of reminiscence, they decided to find and meet her, who turns out to be running a hotel lobby bar in Puchon, a satellite city near Seoul. The woman, Sun-hwa, without showing much emotion upon their appearance, asks them to wait in front of her apartment. When she returns, they begin a decadent drinking party till the daybreak.Written by
Sang-soo Hong has done it again: he has made another controversial film that deals with the in-depth investigation of human sexuality, this time focusing solely on it from the perspective of two old friends meeting up again, one a successful college professor and the other a struggling film-maker.
From beginning to end, Hong lures you into the film by showing provocative sexual scenes and events, and really laying before us just how chaotic and disturbing sex can be, as well as how fulfilling it is. In between comical exchanges between the main characters, there lies a great deal of tragedy. Like many Korean films, it bended genres.
The acting was always as realistic as Hong aimed for in previous films like Power of Kangwon Province, and the story just as equally real -- focusing on very real dialog and very real occurrences. One can feel a close relationship to every character in the movie from start to finish. The mood is very real, and the soundtrack that accompanies it was very appropriate.
A uniquely artistic film that encourages the viewer to connect the dots, and a very real 'slice-of-life' film, I would recommend this to anybody who enjoys artistic film in general, or who has an interest in tackling some major issues about sexuality. It was another well-done piece by Hong, and I look forward to seeing more work by him in the future.
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