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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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Top Customer Reviews
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...
This film is really nice to watch. This duality is what ultimately makes Chunhyang not realize its potential. Listening to a story or reading a book is much different than watching one. A storyteller uses painstaking detail in describing events, so that the listener can construct an image in his/her mind. Revered director Kwon-taek Im (Taebak Mountains) uses Sang-hyun Cho (who wrote the movie with Hye-yun Kang and Myong-gon Kim), the foremost proponent of Pansori to narrate Chunhyang. The story switches between him on stage, seemingly yelling before an audience, and the actual story. Sometimes, his words frame sequences and actors speak in unison with him. The problem is that he minutely describes what is on the screen, and Im follows his words exactly. It works if people are watching him perform in a theater, but becomes distracting when watching a movie. When Cho says somebody walks quickly, the person walks quickly. When Cho says somebody throws a rock, the person throws a rock. Usually, narration in movies serves to impart something unknown instead of simply repeating what is on screen.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
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 morePublished on June 7 2004 by Bryan Connors
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 morePublished on Dec 11 2003 by Shak
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. Read morePublished on Dec 4 2003 by JSK
"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. Read morePublished on Sept. 20 2003 by Rebecca of Amazon
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 morePublished on Aug. 29 2003 by Holidayforlife
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 morePublished on Aug. 5 2002
"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 morePublished on July 26 2002 by JLind555
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 morePublished on June 13 2002 by David H. Kil
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