Starring: Han Seok-Gyu, Lee Eun-Ju, Eom Ji-Won, Seong Hyeon-A
Director: Daniel H. Byeon
About This DVD
Fans of Han Suk-kyu, star of local hit movies such as Shiri and Christmas in August will be able to see him in his upcoming movie The Scarlet Letter.
"I really wanted to shoot a movie and play a different and more complicated role than before," Han told reporters in a news conference in July. "And I picked up this movie as my next film after my long break."
Directed by Daniel Byun, who returns with his second feature film after the melodrama "Interview" in 2000, the romantic thriller also stars three popular actresses: Lee Eun-Ju, Eom Ji-Won, Seong Hyeon-A.
"The movie is more about people's desire rather than romance," said Byun during the conference. "I think you have to pay for satisfying your desire, which I want to depict in the movie."
Taking its name and basic motive from Nathaniel Hawthorne's classic novel, the movie revolves around a talented and intelligent police detective (Han) who indulges in secret affairs although he has a wife (Um) that loves him. He finds himself attracted to Kyong-hee, the wife of a murdered man whose case he is investigating, who is also a suspect. As the story evolves, the relationships between the cop and three women fall into disaster.
"Chuhong Geulssi (The Scarlet Letter)" is a moody thriller that marks the return of actor Han Seok-gyu to the screen. In truth, the actor, who is most famous for starring in the hit film Shiri, made his return last year from his four-year hiatus, but "Ijung Kanchop (Comrade)" seems to have slipped from everyone's minds lately.
In his new film, Han plays the arrogant and sexist detective Ki-hun, an alpha male reminiscent of Michael Douglas in "Basic Instinct." And the film itself is a lot like that 1992 erotic thriller in mood and feel, with a similar but always-intriguing combination of sex and murder.
What the film doesn't have is the classic femme fatale like Sharon Stone's ¡¦ Instead, "Letter's" director Daniel H. Byun surrounds Ki-hun with a trio of beauties, each bringing a different dynamic to the detective's life and to the film.
In Su-hyon(Uhm Ji-won), Ki-hun has the seemingly perfect and obedient wife. But at the same time, the detective is carrying on a steamy affair with Ka-hui(Lee Eun-Ju(a), a sultry jazz singer at a nightclub who is in many ways the opposite of his wife, a classical musician.
Added to the mix is Kyong-hi (Seong Hyeon-a), the wife of a murder victim whose case Ki-hun is investigating. The murder seems to have a basis in adultery, a possible parallel to the detective's own life.
The movie has to come down to earth and come up with an ending and that's where it gets into trouble. At the last third of the film, "Letter" throws in a plot twist that's comparable to the one in Old Boy in its bizarreness. The film's unexpected development is gut-wrenching and does work on a visceral level, but the viewer will have a difficult time getting over its seeming randomness in relation to the rest of the film.
|Audio Format:||DD 5.1 Surround|
|Video Format:||Widescreen 1.85:1 (Anamorphic)|
|Running Time:||119 / 84|
|Special Features:||- Commentary by Director and
- Making Film
- Promotion Clips
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