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[MOVIE REVIEW] Film explores bed hopping scandals

2007/08/02 Source

Cheating is a favorite topic for many filmmakers, and director Jeong Yoon-soo puts a double spin on the forbidden relationships in his latest film "Changing Partners" (Jigeum saranghaneun saram-gwa salgo isseumnikka?).

The Korean title, which translates into "Are you living with the person you love?" tells volumes about the movie's dominant theme. In some cases, people happen to find their soul mates after they already have gotten married, and this tricky development often jeopardizes the existing marital relationships.

"Changing Partners", however, does not attempt to justify cheating. Instead, it depicts a crisscrossed scandal where two couples get entangled in belated and illicit romantic relations.

Young-jun (Lee Dong-gun) is a wealthy businessman, and his wife So-yeo (Han Chae-young) runs a lighting design company. The only problem with the couple is that they have never been in "hot" relationships, and are now maintaining a perfunctory tie as a couple that seems happy in the eyes of bystanders. In contrast, Min-jae (Park Yong-woo), a Hotelier, and his wife Yu-na (Uhm Jung-hwa), a fashion consultant, maintain passionate relationships three years into their marriage.

The two starkly different couples meet each other and a sort of changing of partners occurs. So-yeo is drawn to Min-jae, who is far more friendly and delicate than her husband. Yu-na feels attracted to Young-jun's charismatic character, something that is lacking in her husband.

At a press preview held on Wednesday, director Jeong said he hopes the audiences do not think too much about the scandalous setting in the film. "This is about love and marriage, and I hope people just take a look at this type of love without prejudice", he said.

Asked whether the film justifies swapping, director Jeong said the movie has nothing to do with swapping. "I have never thought my film is concerned about swapping. It is just a story about people who happen to fall in love belatedly. I wanted to pursue more open answers for this matter, focusing on what is really important for us, rather than what's important for protecting the marriage", he said.

Actor Park Yong-woo said, "Personally, I was somewhat confused about the relationships in the movie. I believe that love cannot be described in a couple of words or explained logically, but this is a socially sensitive issue, so the important aspect is whether we have an open mind about all of this".

Actor Lee Dong-gun also stressed that the focus of the film is placed on romantic but misplaced relationships. "This is about love that has gone awry, but the film does not justify or sugarcoat the cheating. But the point is that even misplaced relationships are relationships", he said.

Director Lee said he made efforts to decorate the background for major scenes, adding a sense of luxury. "In many scenes, characters meet in upscale bars or other posh restaurants, so we really put a lot of effort into making the scenes luxurious and colorful".

The film, produced by Cine2000, will be released on Aug. 15 nationwide.

By Yang Sung-jin

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