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'Attraction' Bewitches Only Few Fans

2006/03/16 | 213 views | Permalink | Source

By Kim Tae-jong
Staff Reporter

"Bewitching Attraction (Yogyosu-ui Unmilhan Maeryok)" is a black comedy that pokes fun at those who pretend to be elegant in their seemingly noble positions but actually seek carnal desires.

The film's unconventional methods of bringing audiences to laughter seems its true Bewitching Attraction, but it could be a totally different movie than you expect if you get an idea what it might be about from its sexually explicit posters that promote the film as a light adult comedy.

Starring Moon So-ri and Ji Jin-hee, the movie revolves around Cho Eun-suk (played by Moon), a professor at a rural college teaching fabric dyeing who leads a duel life.

She loves being at the center of men's attention and she has a talent in seducing men and enjoys sleeping around as well.

To hide her secret life in her well-recognized profession, she comes up with her own measures such as wearing glasses to look intelligent, reciting poems and joining a local environmental group.

The men whom she has indecent relationships with are also multi-faced. They seem to try to live up to social norms (a university professor, a television production director and an elementary school teacher) but the reality is that they enjoy having love affairs despite their family.

But Cho's pleasure-seeking dual life faces a crisis as cartoonist Pak Pil enters the scene. Pak went to the same middle school with her and they share a tragic memory that they want to erase.

Cho is Pak's older brother's ex-girlfriend, the three of them rebellious teenagers who broke the rules. They smoked and indulged in sex promiscuously. Cho is worries about her past being revealed.

The film doesn't contain fashionable jokes and the story at times appears loose as there are few clues as to how and why the characters are connected. The music, cinematography and editing don't seem to reach the standards that we usually expect from commercial movies.

But whether these weaknesses and technical deficiencies were intentional or not, much of the film's humor derives from scenes where each character's real face is unmasked unintentionally and they clumsily try to cope with problematic situations. It is director Lee Ha's first feature film, so perhaps he deserves the benefit of the doubt.

One thing that is definitely remarkable is Moon's acting. Who can easily guess that the woman with cerebral palsy from the 2002 melodrama "Oasis" can turn into such a temptress?

But too much focus on her acting in an explicit nature and the sexual scenes in the hyped promotion can lead audiences in the wrong direction and make them disappointed when they actually see the film, despite its own attraction.

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