Sunday, September 30, 2007

Cheaters (Nae Yeojaeui Namja Chingu)

Adjusting My Bulge

And speaking of fragmented timelines, they don't get presented as strongly as that in Cheaters, a Korean R21 movie. It's a modern day tale of relationships, and it actually has a very bleak and pessimistic outlook, in that everyone's trying to get into everyone else's pants, and nothing, not even marriage, is sacred anymore, but only the gratification of lust and the flesh is.

The movie opens with some candid documentary styled interviews with the man on the street, about their views about marriage, fidelity and the likes. We then get introduced to two lovers Suk-Ho (Choi Won-Young) and Chai-Young (Ko Da-Mi). The former is trying his best to get intimate with Chai-Young, after being accepted by her to be the man in her life. However, Chai-Young seems to be putting off physical intimacy until she gets to know him a little better (you go girl! For now at least). During their dates, she seemed a tad too distracted by the incessant ringing/messages from her mobile phone, and not before long, we discover the truth of her deceit, and share sympathies with Suk-Ho.

But here's where the movie starts to get interesting. We are put into different perspectives, and learn about the different characters and their general attitudes toward love and sex. That sweetie-pie, angelic face that Chai-Young possess, hides a devil-may-care attitude within. And Suk-Ho is no knight in shining armour too, as he hides even more secrets and skeletons inside his closet. And this continues for the ensemble cast of 6 characters, as we slowly take their perspective, and learn about their relations with one another. They all make strange bedfellows, and I wonder whether the advent and proliferation of mobile phones, actually help cheating partners go about perpetrating their infidelity by making it all the more easy to stay in touch, and make various clandestine appointments too.

What was interesting here in the narrative presentation, is the way details are revealed slowly point by point, which includes artifacts mentioned and seen through the course of events. Even a simple music CD was highly effective in bringing out the truth amongst the players involved. The jump points from one narrative thread to the next are usually the mobile phone conversations, and each time it's revealed who the person at the other end is, will turn out to be a surprise. And I'm pretty amazed at how this was achieved consistently throughout the movie, keeping the surprises flowing, though some scenes were repetitive, especially when they represent certain important juncture in the movie.

And it's no doubt that the film played to a full house. Almost every couple got in on the hot and heavy, with total disregard to the commandment of not coverting thy neighbour's wife going out the window. If flesh is what you're here for, then flesh is what you get. Or if comedy is your thing, there are ample laugh out loud moments, but to be fair, it's more effective in bringing out that sly smile from within you as and when the secrets of the characters are revealed, providing you the "Aha!" moment that you share with the character put under the spotlight for that segment.

With a host of good looking cast throwing lust, caution (sorry, couldn't resist a bad pun) to the wind, it's a story that comes full circle, of reaping what you sow. Those who frown at infidelity, would probably want to give this movie a miss, given the less than cavalier attitudes presented, with nary a slap in the wrist for such bad behaviour.

Who Do You Want To Sleep With Today?

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