Starring: Jeon Gwang-Ryeol, Lee Mi-Suk, Hong Seung-Hee, Cho Won-Hee
Director: Jeon Yun-Su
About This DVD
Directed by Jeon Yun-Su, Kiss Me Much has all the hallmarks of a Kang Je-Gyu studio production. The pacing and energy of the film is vintage Kang Je-Gyu. An energetic film score, combined with perfect timing and pacing, generate just the right energy and suspense to sweep the audience along with the action. When Chul-soo (Jeon Gwang-Ryeol), a funds manager, spots a discrepancy in the numbers at his investment house, he smells a rat. His investigation soon exposes one of his colleagues for engaging in insider trading. But the investment house is interested in maintaining high principal, not principles and Chul-soo soon finds himself out of a job.
Losing his job at the investment house, his family's fortunes take a turn for the worse. If being out of a job isn't enough, he is also overdue with his mortgage payments. The items in the house are tagged and the family is given one month to come up with the money. The screenplay has strong moments of verisimilitude. The fact that one of the children wins a PC in an Internet contest only to have it tagged by the intruders is a nice touch. The fact that the intruders are merciless enough to take the children's belongings is cathartic. In another suspense generating sequence, we see Chul-soo and his wife Yeung-hee (Lee Mi-Suk) working around the clock to meet their payments. Chul-soo chalks up a profit in investments, but it's not enough to keep the wolf from the door. But the energy and pacing has the audience on the edge of its seats.
It is at this point in the story that Chul-soo and Yeung-hee find themselves easy prey for those who wish to take advantage of their vulnerability. This is where the film climaxes. There is an element of the forbidden and dangerous. The sexual temptation and titillation is similar to the kind of forbidden desire portrayed in the film "Eyes Wide Shut." There is an added element of mystery and suspense. Receiving a parcel containing a black dress and opera tickets, Yeung-hee is unable to resist the allure of her secret admirer. Showing up in her chic new gown, she takes her seat. The opening scene commences, but her admirer has still not arrived. ``Is he going to show?’’ we wonder. We then see him coming down the aisle. He takes his seat next to Yeung-hee, but does not turn to look at her. Seduced by his majesty and control, she cannot resist staring at him. He in turn remains restrained, showing no interest in his quarry. He is like a snake hypnotizing its prey before the strike.
He then takes her out for dinner. We hear their voices, but the camera is focused on a couple seated at another table. It is not a close up, so we wonder initially if it is them. The camera then pans to their table and we see that we have been eavesdropping on their conversation while looking at another table. But this is exactly what happens in a restaurant. The diner is always a voyeur, taking in the action of the table out of earshot, while eavesdropping on one nearby. The camera work has done its magic. The film audience knows its place. We are like diners eavesdropping from a neighboring table. The simile works, the filmmaking masterful.
During the meal, he presents her with a check to cover the mortgage payments. She accepts the gift gratefully and puts in her purse. We immediately wonder if there are any strings attached and our suspicions are soon confirmed. She then takes out her pocketbook to write him an IOU. He stops her, insisting that she doesn't have to pay him back. All he wants in return is that she sleep with him. Offended that he should make such an impolite proposal, she returns the check and leaves.
Chul-soo in the meantime must deal with a more virulent form of temptation. When a beautiful seductress and femme fatale offers him the money he requires in exchange for sleeping with her, it soon becomes clear that she is a nymphomaniac who will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Attempting to seduce him one night at the office, the seduction turns into more of a battle of the sexes, the pair wrestling with one another's desires on the desk and across the floor. She later succeeds in convincing him to sleep with her at his apartment and he in his desperation agrees. But when his son shows up at the door in the middle of the foreplay, he immediately stops the session before things can advance any further. Unwilling to take no for an answer, she insists that he give her what she wants, but he demands that she leave. She persists, resorting to threats. But the fire in his eyes makes it clear that he will kill if he must to protect his family. She leaves unceremoniously only half dressed, confronting the son in the hall on the way out. Smiling gloatingly at the nonplussed son, she has found all revenge she needs.
Everything down to the apartment, garden, and playground were constructed as sets for this film. Kang Je-Gyu Pictures paradoxically needed to create artificial sets in order to create the right detail. The decor and design were all conceived to appear authentic on film. The film certainly seems real. It is believable right down to the characters, situations and settings. It is a real-life drama that could happen to any of us. True, elements of the film are sensationalized to lend suspense and excitement to the film, but these Hollywood-style insertions succeed. The film's artifice only makes it more engaging and appealing. To fault the film for using Hollywood suspense-heightening gimmicks would be unfair. A film has to engage its audience. If it must do so with a film score, effects, and sensationalist elements, so be it. If you want to see a good summer season finale, ``Kiss Me Much’’ is an entertaining and emotionally moving story. By the way, the title comes from the name of a bar the couple once frequented before they were married.
A loving couple lives in a small apartment and they are down on luck in life in financial terms. The husband has no income, but the wife has to make a living. They have been living for 10 years. And for the husband his wife is his first love as ever. For the wife, her husband is a symbol of her intimate adoration, despite the fact that he is so imperfect. They both love each other so much. With the harsh reality of life crashing down on him, the husband is in anguish, because he wonders that he has offered his wife so little, yet she loves him so much. But, for the wife, despite her occasional temper tantrums, she dearly loves him. She regrets her temper tantrums right after she looses her anger. The man is now determined to stand up no matter what to do something right for his wife. But, he feels weak and tears frequently wet his eyes. Someone makes him an offer which is hard to refuse, on which he has to stake everything he owns including his family. Should he take the leap or not?
|DD 5.1 Surround, DD 2.0 Stereo
|Widescreen 1.85:1 (Anamorphic)
|Production Notes, Cast and Crews, Introduction of Title, Synopsis, Making of Film, Photo Gallery, Music Video, Theatrical Trailer, Director's Audio Commentary, Ceremony of Opening, Poster Scene, Scece of Rewarding
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