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10 8월, 2007

Rules are meant to be broken...

Can a meaningful relationship be borne of sexual harrasment, consensual near-rape and infidelity? Rules of Dating (2005) directed by Han Jae Rim, starring Park Hae Il (the Host, 2006) and Kang Hye Jeong (Oldboy, 2003) asks us exactly what it means to be in a relationship.

The very first line of this movie "are you wet?" is posed at Hong Choi (Kang Hye Jeong) by Lee Yoo Rim (Park Hae Il) in what is a first in a series of sexually charged innuendo and behaviour on his part. He is in relentless pursuit of Choi and employs the well worn line of I-just-want-to- (talk, see you, apologise, what have you) to worm his way past her defenses. Choi on the other hand, comes off as coy, reluctant even, at the begining but seems to be perversely enjoying the attention.

As the film progresses, there is an ever so subtle change in the movie. While at first the reigns of the affair are held by Lee, the pursuer, Choi wrests control from him. Their roles do not change, but the terms are slowly altered until a sudden realisation comes towards the end. Their relationship is not unlike that of a dominatrix-slave, where truly the slave has the power.

This movie evokes ghosts of the Mike Nichols film Closer (2004), in that people are definitely not as pretty as we would like them to be, even when it comes to love. We are underhanded, sneaky, selfish and above all, about self preservation. None of the characters end up as particularly likeable, but we do end up somewhat sympathetic to their plight and their choices are understandable. In all a good drama.

3 out of 5 I liked the movie

Video: Are You The One by The Presets

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