A Bizarre Love Triangle

A Bizarre Love Triangle

**1/2

Reviewed by: Josh Morrall

A Bizarre Love Triangle is a bizarre film, its weird is in equal measure to its wonderful. The comedy mixes well with the sentiment and the structure allows the story to form like a puzzle, with Mu-yeong Lee's stylish direction adding pinache to proceedings. However, parts of this film are a little too ridiculous, something underlined by the unnecessary sub-plot - a story told by an old man on a space station 30 years in the future.

Such is the setting of the opening scene. The audience is misled into believing this is a futuristic film through the appearance of space ships flying around the screen and the elaborate hairstyle of the young man who is told the film's plot. Despite the pointlessness of setting the film some 30 years hence (and it would seem society has developed at a unrealistic pace), this quirky introduction sets up the mood for the rest of the action.

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The pace of the editing works well with Lee's camera work never lingering in one scene for too long and occasionally delivering a flurry of inspired technique. The quick movement of the film is complemented by colourful costumes and creative props (you'll never look at a melon the same way again).

This background brings the comedy to the film's forefront, which is where the film loses its way. Early on we are treated to a barrage of insults aimed at Doo-Chan's (Kwang-il Choi) wife Eun-hee (Eun-ji Jo). Doo-Chan's driver, doctor and boss all refer to her as "that whore", an insult we can become attracted to upon meeting her - she is a vastly irritating character, her whining and uneven voice a forerunner for her spoilt-brat persona.

Despite the audience's dislike, we are treated to her life story and her developing affair with Keum-sook (Hyo-jin Kong) which is sensitively dealt with, yet the whole thing remains rather pointless as we never learn fully why she has become such a loathsome creature.

It seems possible that the non-linear structure of the film has been arranged in post-production in order to blind us from the lack of realistic character development. The characters go through a lot, but never appear to be affected by these experiences.

Aside from this, A Bizarre Love Triangle is a refreshing look at modern relationships. It's not clever, even if it thinks it is, but it is amusing as well as mildly erotic, elements that are easy to watch and be entertained by when they are presented in such a skillful and attractive way. A triumph of technique over substance, but not completely redundant in terms of plot. A sweet and sour oddity.

Reviewed on: 27 Jul 2005
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A Bizarre Love Triangle packshot
Comedy takes an off-beat look at modern relationships.
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Director: Lee Mu-yeong

Writer: Lee Mu-yeong, Park Chan-wook

Starring: Kong Hyo-jin, Jo Eun-ji, Choi Kwang-il

Year: 2002

Runtime: 95 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: South Korea

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