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Comedy Sequel Touches on Serious Social Issues

2006/01/18 Source

By Kim Tae-jong
Staff Reporter

Corruption and immorality in the nation's secondary school system are serious issues that often appear on the front page of newspapers. But are they a good subject for a comedy movie?

The corruption of a private school foundation, disrespect for teachers and an immoral relationship between a teacher and student are heavy issues. Can you poke fun at them?

The coming comedy film "My Boss, My Teacher" deals with these issues while making the audience Break Out in laughter.

"I hope that this film can work as a comedy that criticizes current social problems, which (in the film) are tackled by men who are uneducated yet have a sense of justice", actor Jung Joon-ho said Tuesday during a news conference after the preview screening of "My Boss, My Teacher" at Yongsan CGV theater in Seoul.

Jung said the sequel uses similar elements of humor as the original 2001 hit comedy, which was seen by 3.5 million people, but to improve it, the situations that each character faces have become more serious, Jung added.

The original's hilarity came from the irony of a gangster in his 30s going to high school and attempting to get a diploma without revealing his criminal identity. The gangster, Kye Du-sik, tries to get along with his much younger classmates and ends up solving problems at the school.

In the sequel, Kye has graduated and entered college. He is dispatched to a high school to work as a student teacher for four weeks.

The problems in high school are worse than the original. Kyu witnesses one especially corrupt teacher forge the scholastic documents of privileged students whose fathers are high-ranking politicians, and have a sexual relationship with a pupil.

The film's director also said that the combination of hilarity and serious social issues distinguishes the "My Boss, My Hero" from other comedy films.

"I tried to make it a fantasy film not just a comedy or gangster film. It's like when you're teased and you wish somebody could help you get revenge", director Kim Dong-weon said.

However, he didn't want to intentionally criticize specific social issues but rather to focus more on the main theme of "encouraging good and punishing evil", Kim said.

Along with Kim, who also directed the first "My Boss My Hero" film, the four main actors _ Jung Joon-ho, Jung Woong-in, Jung Woon-taek and Kim Sang-joong _ are the ones who played in the original. The actors said their developed teamwork will produce fruitful results.

"The original mainly relied on each actor's comic acting to entertain audiences, but the sequel's hilarity will come from fun situations that actors bring together", Jung Woon-taek said.

The film will be released on Jan. 19.

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