Wednesday, October 12, 2005

April Snow

To think that I watched 2 horror movies back to back, and 2 Korean movies back to back too. Uncanny, as I ended my previous review on handphones, as I begin this one on the same device.

The role of the mobile phone, in the making of and destruction of romantic relationships. Hands up, those of you who have used it to flirt, and keep your hands there if you have an archive of secret messages stashed away in one of the electronic folders of your phone's memory. Password protection, afraid of someone dear chancing upon them, aren't you?

Bae Yong-jun (geeks of the world, rejoice!) stars as In-su, a man whose wife met with an accident. Terribly shaken, he sees his spouse in the hospital intensive care unit, in a comatose state. Unknowingly, he meets a woman Seo-young (classic beauty Son Ye-jin) at the ward, whose husband too, was involved in the same accident. Slowly, they discover that their spouses were cheating behind their backs, thereby giving both another blow to their emotions.

I'm not really a fan of the bespectacled Bae, but in this film, he has demonstrated his acting prowess somewhat, if not already seen by most fans in his famed TV series Winter Sonata. You see the pain of a man who has dawned upon the knowledge of being betrayed by a spouse, the sadness emoting through his eyes when he reads SMS from the strayed spouse to her lover, and the intolerance viewing the video clip of their tryst in a hotel room. Here's a man who had lived in a web of adulterous deceit.

And in the same boat, Son Ye-jin, ever so vulnerable as the clueless housewife Seo-young, who suffers silently while awaiting for her husband to awaken from his coma. On one hand, she hates him for what he has done, but on the other, still dutifully cares for him. And this duality and fighting of emotions for their respective spouses ring through the state of confusion both In-su and Seo-young are in.

Sure, they want to seek revenge, which I suppose is a normal human reaction in these circumstances, but how? The other party's spouse happens to be a victim too, and hereby lies the dilemma in the inability to exact sweet justice. Or can they? As they meet up more often, by chance or otherwise, to have someone to talk to, to spend time with, to have meals together, each becomes the pillar of strength for the other, while they seek to unravel the rationale of their spouses' illicit affair.

A drunken slip of the tongue became the foreplay, and it's no rocket science that they decide to express their emotions in a physical manner, as promoted in the trailers. Note that I did not mention "love". It doesn't seem so at this point - their body language seemed more like strangers, their movements awkward. It's like for the purpose of releasing pent-up anger and frustration, of getting back and for the sake of getting even. Twisted; weird. Love? No.

But Love, probably, did creep in after a while. But you question if this is love out of convenience, of being there for the other person, just like the other is there for you, in dire straits? And in an attempt to steer this controversial romance theme (Two wrongs don't make a right - love borne out of an affair) into more mainstream acceptance, the filmmakers brought in Fate to decide - to have something identifiable between the two leads, for them to make the decision on their plausible future. Hence the title.

But the one scene which stood out for me, is the one where the confrontation is held. There isn't a need to ask point blank questions. A side remark in passing, and you'll come to understand whether it's worth burying the hatchet, or not.

And it's kinda back to full circle, as the mobile device which destructed one side of the relationship, ended up nurturing another. Such is the electronic era we live and cope in.

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