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Love Story

Posted September. 06, 2006 07:01,   


The world prods us to adopt a “cool” attitude. Like all the good-looking men and women in movies, we are expected to date when mutual attraction occurs and say goodbye when it’s over. But it’s doubtful how many people are like this in real life. Like the verses of a drama, how can a warm-blooded human being be ‘cool’? Opening in theatres on September 7, the movie ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Love’ is a story of sloppy and messed-up love, the lives of the ‘uncool’ people.

Helping out in a restaurant operated by his mother, Yeong-un (Kim Seung-woo) is approached one day by a bargirl, Yeon-a (Jang Jin-yeong), who utters the words “I came to charm you,” and from then on they launch into a relationship. Their love seems capricious, as they would curse and pull their hairs out of their heads in one moment, then roll around the bed in the next. But Yeong-un already has a meek fiancée, and he starts to avoid Yeon-a when confronted with his marriage. But Yeon-a cannot give him up. The words that appear the most frequently in this movie are curse words. Yeong-un’s friends drink and gamble, people who live life with a “laisser-faire” attitude.

Director Kim Hae-gon seems to have an incisive take into the bum mentality. Even in these lives a sense of class difference exists. While class does not seem to matter in love, differences seem to surface when confronted with marriage. As Yeong-un says to his mother, “Do you think I’m crazy? With a barmaid?” Yeon-a cannot aspire to rise to the same level even with a loafer like Yeong-un. She makes for a tragic figure.

When Yeon-a screams and swears, the desperate feeling of a lowlife is both sorrowful and cathartic at the same time. In each interview Jang Jin-yeong had said that “it’s hard to focus on the role,” but she was either exaggerating or is else a wonderful actor. Though he is perhaps different in real life, Kim Seung-woo is perfect for the role as a shifty character.

The tears of the two actors at the end are aimed straight for the audiences’ hearts. The movie then becomes melodramatic. Yeon-a leads a life of a victim, having given up both her heart and her body. The story resembles a 1970’s type hostess movie, where the heroine acts bold but ends up crying because of a man. But what can be done. Love and life is melodramatic. For viewers 18 and over.