Rabu, 14 Oktober 2009

Everybody Has a Little Secret

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Title : Everybody Has a Little Secret
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Added : 13/08/09
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Original name : Everybody Has a Little Secret.avi

Year: 2004
Director: Jang Hyeon-Su
Cast: Lee Byung-Hun, Choi Ji-Woo, Kim Hyo-Jin, Choo Sang-Mi, Shin-ee
The Skinny: A mysterious stranger seduces three sisters in this sensual romantic comedy from director Jang Hyeon-Su. Thanks to strong performances and a clever (yet borrowed) premise, the film is a welcome departure from the umpteenth My Sassy Girl knockoff.
by Sanjuro:

From writer/director Jang Hyeon-Su (Born to Kill) comes Everybody Has Secrets, a comic tale of sex and secrecy that argues that not all secrets need to be revealed, especially if they can fuel a loving relationship. This remake of a little-known Irish film called About Adam features popular Korean idol Lee Byung-Hun (JSA) as a modern day Don Juan who ends up bedding a trio of sisters, while at the same time irrevocably changing their lives…which begs the question, is it a change for the better?
The film begins with Mi-Young, the headstrong youngest sibling, cruelly dumping her loyal boyfriend in search of Mr. Right. While singing at a local nightclub, she spots Choi Su-Hyeon (Lee), and believing she's found her Prince Charming, quickly makes her move. And it's only a matter of time before the two are dating and - at least, on the surface - much in love. Their rather perfunctory romance eventually reaches its high point when Mi-Young proposes to Su-Hyeon at a family gathering. Portraying the role of the old fashioned gentleman, Su-Hyeon poses the question back at Mi-Young, who of course, accepts. Sounds like a run-of-the-mill romance, huh? Well, this is just the first quarter of the film!
It's during this festive occasion that we truly begin to grasp that there's more going on in the film than we've been lead to believe, since there is at least one attendee who doesn't look so happy: Su-Young (Choi Ji-Woo, from the mega popular Winter Sonata), a bespectacled, twenty-seven year old virgin and middle sister of the family. To explain her dismay, the film then flashes backward, as previous scenes are cast in a new light thanks to the inclusion of additional scenes that occurred "in the gaps" of what we've already witnessed. In this middle section of the film, the timeline is then fleshed out to show that Su-Hyeon and Su-Young have been carrying on an affair. Su-Young's story runs parallel with the previous one, as we watch their illicit relationship develop and eventually get to see the consequences of his proposal and how that impacts the bookish Su-Young. What's interesting here is that in comparison with his relationship with Mi-Young, his affair with Su-Young seems to be far more solid and, quite possibly, the perfect match. And when the waterworks come (this is a Korean movie, after all), we begin to suspect that what we're really watching is yet another melodrama about a man torn between two loves. But not so fast. There's one more sister.
And it's when the film then turns its attention to Jin-Young (Choo Sang-Mi), the clan's eldest daughter, that one begins to seriously question Su-Hyeon's motives. Married to a doctor and raising a child, Jin-Young is a woman who's lost sight of her own identity, so immersed is she in her roles as wife and mother. Her boorish husband pays little attention to her and their sex life is practically nonexistent. Here, the super-smooth Su-Hyeon reawakens Jin-Young's buried sexuality with predictable results. As with the previous story, Jin-Young's reveals that there was even more going on than we've seen in Mi-Young's and Su-Young's individual stories, as those scenes take on even more new meanings.
The last quarter (or less) of the movie deals with the fallout of all these affairs. Of course, with Su-Hyeon and Mi-Young engaged to be married amidst all this extracurricular sexual activity, any hopes for a happy resolution seem impossible. Luckily for him, Su-Hyeon is the master of the impossible, and even better, it seems he's not the only one who has secrets.
Although based on About Adam (starring Kate Hudson, among other actors), Everybody Has Secrets is similar in many respects to the Witches of Eastwick, the star-studded Hollywood flick that featured a devilish Jack Nicholson unleashing the fire hidden inside three women. And a supernatural explanation for Su-Hyeon's motives will probably cross the viewer's mind more than once during the film. He is, for all intents and purposes, the perfect man: sensitive, yet manly, able to become whatever the woman needs whenever the occasion arises. Yet it's notable that at all times this ability never seems to be a calculated deception. And perhaps that's a credit to Lee Byung-Hun, who imbues the morally ambiguous character with such a level of sincerity that he never seems like a sleazeball. But the movie still hinges on the question: why does he do the things that he does? And just who is he really? There are answers given in the film, but the ambiguity of just who or what he is may frustrate some viewers looking for either definitive answers or a moral justification.
Surrounding Lee Byung-Hun is an excellent cast, with each of the three actress giving fine performances. The best of the lot would have to be Choi Ji-Woo, whose character's transformation from bookworm to sexually liberated woman is a wonderful sight to behold. As indicated earlier, her character's romance with Su-Hyeon is probably the most interesting and helps hold the film together.
But it's not all sex and romance; there's a lot of humor at work in the film. The funniest bit in the film involves a short interlude in one of the sisters' stories in which the girl's teenage brother (Jeon Jae-Young, from Wet Dreams 2 and Taegukgi) enlists Su-Hyeon's help in scoring with his chaste girlfriend. Hilariously, the magnetic Su-Hyeon seems to charm him as well, as the poor boy begins to fear that he's turning gay! But just when you think that the uber-charming Su-Hyeon has seduced the boy's girlfriend right out from under him, it's revealed that he's up to something far more positive.
From a structural standpoint, Everybody Has Secrets is a joy to watch. It's not the first film to utilize this variation of flashbacks (nor is About Adam), but the way in which events unfold and "re-unfold" is delightful departure from the more traditionally linear storytelling methods employed in most movies.
Of course, some viewers may end up having a problem with the premise altogether, particularly those possessing a moral code about sex that they feel must extend to the movies that they watch. But for audiences who don't find themselves confusing or conflating movies with real life, Everybody Has Secrets is a sexy, fun-filled picture that makes for an entertaining diversion. Sumber

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