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Reverse Love

Posted June. 02, 2006 04:27,   


You can guess the tone of this movie by the provocative sex in the first scene that contradicts the caption that says the two have just signed their divorce papers. “Why are you hiding your breasts with a towel?” “Do you think that now that we’ve broken up we’re strangers?” asks the man, which makes you wonder why they are still meeting even though they have definitely divorced.

Sure enough, their sex ends roughly. The woman, who doesn’t respond to the man’s question, “Can’t we start over?” and slams the door as she leaves, is the same way in her voice and expression when she rejects the man’s body. The scenes are set in their house. They throw a party together, inviting their friends over for dinner, as if nothing happened. Then you realize that the scenes are a flashback of their happy times right after they got married.

French director Francois Ozon, well known even in Korea, tells the story of the couple meeting, falling in love, getting married, but ultimately splitting up, in reverse order in this manner in “5X2.” It’s not clear why they break up, but the episodes of the love and marriage of a couple are shot in succession, reflecting the problems of love in a novel manner.

Like shorts in a five-movie series, each episode expresses the joy and anger, sense of betrayal and lust, arousal and compassion of two people. In the last scene in which the couple is walking on the beach under the setting sun, falling in love, we as viewers feel anxious as we know their fate. It seems like the director is trying to tell us about the loneliness of love, and the uncertainty of life, in which nothing ever stays the same.

Invited to participate in the 2004 Venice International Film Festival. Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi, the female lead, deserves the festival award for leading actress for her natural performance. In theatres now. Rated for ages 18 and up.

Mun-Myung Huh angelhuh@donga.com