Woman Is the Future of Man
Time Out saysThe title of Hong's comedy of manners and mores, taken from a Louis Aragon poem, is gently misleading: the woman here, bar-owner Sun-Hwa (Sung), is actually a figure from the pasts of the two men, aspiring film-maker Kim (Kim) and university lecturer Lee (Yu). Both men had affairs with her in their student days, although they recall her very differently. And when they meet for the first time in some years (Kim has been studying in the US) they decide to look her up - and both of them fall for her all over again. The fact that Lee is now married is only one of the complications which affect the resulting triangle of jealousies, rivalries and generally less than great sex. As usual, Hong loads the film with neat symmetries and patterns of repetition/variation, but there's less formalist play with narrative structures than before. (Maybe the French co-producer's demand for cuts forced him to axe some of his ideas this time?) Still, it's funny, wry and emotionally acute.