Addicted would be the perfect word to describe Hollywood's fascination with re-making Asian films, the latest to come off the conveyor belt coinincidently bears the same name - a re-imagining to be directed by the writer of Queen Of The Damned and made by the production team behind the US remake of The Grudge.

But what of the original? Addicted tells the story of a married couple Eun-su and Ho-jin, whose younger brother Dae-jin also lives with the inseparable pair. Seemingly they enjoy the perfect life in harmony, Ho-jin is a caring, loving husband, while Eun-su shares the same uncontrollable affection. They are the perfect twoseome, whose relationship is looked upon as solid and ideal, a yardstick, if you will, for others to measure up to, an unshakeable bond.

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Dae-jin, meanwhile, is carefree, behaves erratically and could do with finding himself a decent relationship in which he would have to care for someone else other than himself.

However, their tranquil world comes crashing down around them when tragedy strikes one fateful day when two separate car accidents put both brothers in a coma.

Dae-jin crashes his car during a car race and Ho-jin is involved in a taxi collision while on his way to the racing circuit. Only the younger sibling wakes, leaving Eun-su to restart her life alone without her husband. Left disorientated, events take a strange twist as Dae-jin's behavior changes, beginning to resemble that of Ho-jin, leaving everyone familiar with his antics questioning his peculiar mannerisms.

Through the trauma and hysteria, Dae-jin believes he is in fact his brother and that he is possessed. Eun-su is left to wonder if her husband's soul is trapped in the body of her brother-in-law or if he's just mentally unstable.

Lee-Mi-Yeon (Eun-su) shows great versatility as her character goes through a range of emotions. She conveys her recent loss subtly and her suffering comes across powerfully on screen, especially as Eun-su learns to rediscover her relationship with her former lover, albeit through the body of his younger brother Dae-jin.

Lee Byung-Hun (Dae-Jin) has dual roles as the womanising egomaniac and the romantic lost soul whose complicated fate is the basis for this twisted story of love and betrayal. He excels when playing the unselfish alter ego of his actual character as he tries to win back the heart of his lost love through familiar romantic gestures of old.

Park Young-Hoon's direction is gentle and all the more compelling for it. A study in how far somebody will go in the pursuit of love. Addicted deserves an audience, I can imagine the masses at the multiplex giving it a miss but I it deserves to be discovered on DVD. Recommended.

Reviewed on: 27 Jul 2005
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Addicted packshot
A twisted tale of forbidden love.
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Director: Park Yeung-hoon

Writer: Byun Won-mi

Starring: Lee Mi-yeon, Lee Byeong-heon, Lee Eol, Park Seon-yeong, Kim Ji-eun

Year: 2002

Runtime: 106 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: South Korea


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