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Chunhyang (Widescreen)

Hyo-jeong Lee , Seung-woo Cho , Kwon-taek Im    R (Restricted)   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 56.21
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Product Description

From the Back Cover

In the tradition of the epic drama Raise the Red Lantern, Chunhyang is a beautiful tale of forbidden passion and devotion unfolding in the spectacular settings of the 18th Century Korea. Mongryong, the privileged son of a Governor falls in love with Chunhyang, the beautiful daughter of a proud former courtesan. Inseparably, the two lovers marry, but must keep their marriage a secret, for fear of reprisal. Soon, Mongryong is ordered to Seoul to finish his education, reluctantly leaving his new bride behind but promising that he will send for her. As time passes, however, a new, vindictive Governor is appointed in the province where Chunhyang lives. This new Governor pursues Chunhyang and when she refuses his advances, she is imprisoned and sentenced to death. Chunhyang's only hope for being saved is her continued faith in the promise Mongryong once made her.
A gorgeous and spirited film, Chunhyang is a classic tale of lovers torn apart by two different worlds, and the power and ultimate triumph of love over adversity.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The Pansori didn't really bother me Dec 4 2003
Format:DVD
What really bothered me was the ending! The first 95% of the film was very high quality, very cinematic, engaging, sensual and beautiful. The use of color was notably pleasant. The characterizations were deep for most Korean films. This is one of many movies coming out of the country that attracts attention from Westerners, thus resulting in the phrase "Korea: the New Hong Kong."
The ending was a throwback to the cheesiness of Korean films in the 80s til the mid 90s.
However the ending is not what makes or breaks a film, however disagreeable. To appreciate this film, you need to take note of the historical and cultural significant of the Pansori sung-narrative. Appreciate the costumes, the colors, the gestures of the culture at the time.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Korean Romeo and Juliet Sept. 20 2003
Format:DVD
"I try to examine serious aspects of Korean life and not just aim for commercial success. I try to make films about the real life of Korea." ~ Im Kwon-Taek
If "keeping promises" and "writing promises" intrigues you, you will be seduced by the romantic nature of this movie. This movie reminds me of Romeo and Juliet only because Chunhyang and Mongryong wed secretly and enjoy a brief, yet passionate interlude before fate sends them on separate paths.
Mongryong decides he wants to marry Chunhyang and within a few hours he has succeeded in his mission. As Chunhyang spreads out her orange skirt, the governor's son, Mongryong (Cho Seung Woo), takes a brush, dips it in ink as dark as death and writes symbols that represent: "Like the sun and the moon, my love will never change."
Chunhyang (Lee Hyo Jung) is full of sweet innocence and although she is the daughter of a courtesan, seems rather shy in the world of men. She is reluctant, but then finds her true ecstasy in marriage. Just when she has discovered this new world of pleasure, her husband must leave Namwon with his father and study for an exam while living in Soeul.
After Mongryong leaves her to follow his career, we realize how vulnerable Chunhyang is without the protection of her husband. The corrupt governor (Lee Jung Hun) has heard of Chunhyang's beauty and decides to maker her one of his courtesans. At one point, the brutality is rather shocking, yet the violence does seem to have a point and this makes the impact much stronger. We cannot help but admire Chunhyang's devotion to her husband.
While this movie is stunning in its beauty and romantic appeal, the facts are, this is a cultural experience.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pansori is definitely not for everyone! Dec 17 2001
By A Customer
Format:DVD
The filming of this Korean classic will present some problems to most viewers. Before noting those problems, let me note what is compelling about the movie--stunningly beautiful photography of one of the most lovely countries anywhere in the world. Having had the pleasure of living in South Korea for four years, I can say that this film successfully captures the beauty of the country. The film also will provide many insights into Korean culture, tradition, and values through its retelling of one of the most loved of Korean classics. However, the decision to retell the story through pansori will sorely limit the number of people who will watch the movie. It is undoubtedly culturally insensitive of me to say this, but I found it so painful to listen to this classic Korean singing that I simply turned the volume down half-way through the film and used the subtitles. Had I watched the entire film with the sound on, it would have resulted in a headache of major proportions. Another point is the lack of personality of either of the two lead actors--simply too young and clearly inexperienced, they bring little to their roles. Having watched previous versions of Chunhyang on Korean TV, I can say that this is probably the least satisfying version I've watched. The first half tells the story very nicely, but the final half rushes to the conclusion in a way that leaves the viewer puzzled as to what the point of it all was. Previous versions I've watched actually built some suspense into this portion of the story, none of which was present in this movie. All in all, a major disappointment. This is by no means the best introduction to the growing wonderment of Korean films. Try Bichunmoo, Shiri, Nowhere to Hide, etc, to sample the exceptional energy infusing recent Korean films. Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Confucian fealty never looked so good May 1 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
I saw this at the Hong Kong film festival in 2001, and the film went over well with the Asians and the Westerners in the large hall where it was shown. Probably the best film I've seen in the last three years...
I tried to describe it for friends as a 13th-Century(?) Korean version of Star Wars with less swordplay. Substitute Confucian fealty (how relationships of elder-younger, husband-wife, mother-daughter, leader-follower should work, perhaps ideally) for the Force and corruption for the Dark Side of the Force and, strangely, it fits.
The cinematography is great, and the story is introduced via the Korean operatic form for the first ten minutes, but then largely fades out to allow the story to unfold.
What the Western is to American culture, this is to Korea's. Better than you'd expect, unless you've seen a lot of Asian cinema. Deserving of a wider audience...
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars That was a beautiful experience
know that the majority of Americans are unfamiliar with the Korean art form of Pansori. It is similar to Peking opera, except the voices are lower. Read more
Published on June 29 2007 by Jenny J.J.I.
2.0 out of 5 stars Avoid
If you're looking for a good Asian movie, spare yourself of this one. The story isn't bad, and it's beautiful to look at, but the traditional Korean singing throughout will have... Read more
Published on June 7 2004 by Bryan Connors
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie!
I didn't buy the dvd..I just happened to switch to the Sundance channel after the movie had just started. I've never seen a movie like this, I think it's great! Read more
Published on Dec 11 2003 by Shak
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but...
I was pretty torn in my final analysis of this film. On the one hand, I loved this film for its colourful and poetic cinematography. Read more
Published on Oct. 28 2003 by "5u5hi"
4.0 out of 5 stars Pansori coming alive on screen
I've noticed that some reviewers were put off by Pansori(traditional Korean singing). However, the director chose Pansori as a narrative backbone in telling the story. Read more
Published on Aug. 29 2003 by T. Ghim
5.0 out of 5 stars A great piece of filmaking
This is certainly the best film I've seen in a while. The cinematography was simply stunning. Although some other reviewers were a bit put off by the pansori, I found this... Read more
Published on Aug. 5 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Poetry on Film
"Chunhyang" is living art. Narrated in the Korean tradition of Pansori in which a story is told through sung verse, it's the timeless classic tale of two young people who fall in... Read more
Published on July 26 2002 by JLind555
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful timeless classic, yet ...
This movie was hauntingly beautiful, yet so frustrating to watch at times. The scenes were just breathtaking and the narration read like a poetry with excellent English... Read more
Published on June 13 2002 by David H. Kil
5.0 out of 5 stars "Chunhyang" simply perfect....
I watched "Chunhyang" in the movie theater and also on DVD. I really didn't expect much as I bought my movie ticket and prepared myself for one of the greatest movies... Read more
Published on Nov. 17 2001 by Constantine Yarza
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