Follow HanCinema
NewsLetter DailyWeekly
 
My HanCinema | Sign up, Why ? Your E-mail   Password    Auto| Help
HanCinema :: The Korean Movie and Drama Database, discover the South Korean cinema and drama diversity Contact HanCinema HanCinema on TwitterFaceBook HanCinema PageHanCinema on Twitter

[Hancinema Film Review] "Hwang Jin-ie" + Full Movie

2019/01/12 | 342 views | Permalink

My exploration of Bae Chang-ho's cinema continues with a rather different film, since it takes place in the Joseon era, and focuses not on narrative, but on visuals, in a rather arthouse approach. Let us take things from the beginning though.

The story is based on an actual person with the same name, who is considered the most famous gisaeng of the Joseon Dynasty, and has featured in popular culture a number of times. The story begins before she becomes a gisaeng, when she is just the beautiful daughter of an important family, and is about to marry. Just before the ceremony, though, a local cobbler who has been stealing her shoes to draw her attention is arrested, punished, and soon commits suicide. Shuttered by this event, Jin-ie abandons her former life and becomes a gisaeng, changing her name to Myong-wol.

Soon after, she begins a relationship with a wealthy man, Kyong-dok, who soon abandons her, though, to go to Seoul. Myong-wol then decides to roam the world, but her path is full of hardships, that not even the relationship with another man, Yi-saeng, a noble man whose reputation was ruined, tones down. As time passes, her downward spiral continues.

Bae Chang-ho directs a naturalistic film, which moves quite slowly, in order to allow the spectator to enjoy Jeon Il-seong's impressive cinematography, who presents a number of rural and bucolic setting of extreme beauty, through a plethora of long shots. This tactic extends to the set design, costumes, music, and in general the depiction of the era, which is as realistic as possible. Most of all, it extends to the presentation of Jin-ie, with Chang-ho frequently using close up shots of Jang Mi-hee's impeccable face, again allowing the spectator to enjoy the beauty on screen.

The style of the film follows the rules of the art-house, with Kim Hyun-I's editing implementing a rather slow pace, through a number of lengthy scenes, while the dialogue is scarce, with the actors mostly presenting their feelings and psychological status through their eyes and body stance.

Of course, the social commentary could not be missing from a Bae Chang-ho movie, and the Korean director does not fail to presents a rather harsh one about the role of woman in Joseon society, with the fact that "this is a man's world" being depicted quite eloquently. In rather melodramatic fashion, Bae highlights the fact that women had no claim on their fate whatsoever, and more particularly in Jin-ie's case, even beauty can prove a curse. One could say also that her downwards spiral towards the complete lack of dignity is instigated by her will to escape her fate, in another comment about the dead-end women constantly experienced during the era.

"Hwang Jin-ie" is one of the least approachable films of Bae Chang-ho, particularly due to its art-house aesthetics and the very thin narrative. At the same time, it is one of the most visually impressive, and that is where its true value lies.

Review by Panos Kotzathanasis

Facebook

 

"Hwang Jin-ie" is directed by Bae Chang-ho, and features Jang Mi-hee, Ahn Sung-ki, Shin Il-ryong and Jun Moo-song.

 

Copy & paste guideline for this article
Always put a link back to the source and HanCinema permalink

Creative Commons License"[Hancinema Film Review] "Hwang Jin-ie" + Full Movie"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

Related movies/dramas

Attention You're reading the news with potential spoilers, make them spoiler free, dismiss


 

 

 Previous news

Subscribe to HanCinema Pure to remove ads from the website (not for episode and movie videos) for US$0.99 monthly or US$7.99 yearly (you can cancel anytime). The first step is to be a member, please click here : Sign up, then a subscribe button will show up.

Settings

Remove ads

Sign up

Sharing

Activate

Spoilers

Visible, hide

Learn to read Korean in 90 minutes or less using visual associations

X