Eungyo (2012)

Director: Jung Ji Woo
Casts: Park Hae Il, Kim Go Eun, and Kim Moo Yul
Genre: Drama
Running Time: 129 minutes
Certi: 18

Lee Juk Yo (Park Hae Il) is an old man in his 70s. He is a respected poet. His disciple Seo Ji Woo (Kim Moo Yul), in his 30s, is Juk Yo’s disciple. Both of them have feelings for a 17-year-old high school student, Han Eun Kyo (Kim Go Eun). Because of that, they have the desire for youth, love, and sexual desires. At the same time, this film reflects on how a person aged while still yearning for personal desires.

Director Jung has taken on a film that shows how an aged person craves for something as he/she grows older. I like how the storyline shows the relationship between a 70-year-old man and a 17-year-old high school girl. Even though this topic is hardly talked about in the Korean society, Director Jung is able to reveal how people think about it emotionally. Besides that, he also showcases the older generations’ perspective of growing old while trying to be happy in their lives. So, in the modern Korean society, older communities are considered. This is something different and breathtaking.

Even though Park Hae Il has ‘an old man’s’ makeup, which took about 8 hours in putting and 2 hours in removing it, he has the ability to bring out the empathy of an old man. Through that, the general public are persuaded and have faith in him. I am fascinated with Juk Yo’s blend of funny and emotional character. At the beginning, he tries to get along well with Eun Kyo while he craves to have youth, love, and sexual desires. Then, he starts to write a poetry essay about her and then starts to have jealousy towards his disciple, Ji Woo, who gets in his way. I enjoy how this character is explored within this film.

On the other hand, although Kim Go Eun debut in this film for the first time, she has done a good job in portraying a sweet and caring girl. At the same time, I was shocked and impressed that she takes on in doing a sex scene. Don’t take this the wrong way. This scene is how each character in this film is craving for youth and love. She recently received awards this year, such as Buil Film Awards and Korean Association of Film Critics Awards, for being the best new actress. That’s a great start and I look forward to seeing her more in upcoming films.

From the beginning to the end, I was attached to this film and the characters. The only problem is the long conversation between Ji Woo and Eun Gyo before Ji Woo starts kissing her while she avoids it. It was too long that I couldn’t stay focus. If the conversation was shorter than that, then that’s fine. Other than that, I was emotional especially at the ending. That ending is breaks my heart when Eungyo tells Juk Yo how she feels before she says her good byes. I let a few drops of tear out from my eyes.

I would say that this film touched my heart and it has a very interesting storyline. This film is actually adapted from Park Bum Shim’s novel, Eungyo. From what I heard, there is the difference between the novel and the film. That makes me want to read that novel but I hoped that this novel is in English. By watching this film, you would be able to how the people, who are aging, feel about wanting something to make them happy. This film is truly amazing.

By the way, Director Jung preferred to have the Korean film title ‘ Eungyo’ more than the English title ‘A Muse’. I totally agree with that.

Rating: 8/10

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