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Bichunmoo (DVD)

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Genre: Action & Adventure / Suitable for 18 years and over / DVD released 2006-09-25 at Contender Entertainment Group / Features of the DVD: Dubbed, PAL

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      21.06.2008 22:25
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      childhood sweethearts, forbidden love, illegitimate son and revenge

      Bichunmoo- A Review By Addy

      ==Movie Background==

      I like this film very much. At its time of release this was the most expensive film made in Korea, a factor that is shown in the movie with its awesome special effects costumes and sets. This film contains a fantastic gripping plot with tales of forbidden love, treachery, jealousy and vengeance. Complete with fabulous sword fighting scenes to equal any top martial arts movie.


      Country: South Korea
      Year: 2000
      Genre: Swordplay / Drama
      Format: DVD
      Running Time: 1:58
      Producer: Jeong Tae-won
      Director: Kim Young-jun


      ==Cast==

      Shin Hyeon-Jun
      Kim Hi-Seon
      Jeong Jin-Young
      Jang Dong-Jik
      Choi Jin-hee
      Seo Tae-hwa
      Kim Hak-cheol

      ==Synopsis and Personal opinion==

      Set in China during the 14th Century, we have the Hero of this film who at the beginning is a mere simple peasant called Jinha {Shin Hyun-june.} One day whilst walking in the woods happens upon a girl who is in danger of becoming the next meal to a slavering ravenous wolf. The young boy uses his already honed sword skills with a wooden stick and saves this Heroine called Sullie {Kim Hee-sun}, who happens to be the daughter of a renowned general. By fighting off this lupine beast with his wooden sword Jinha shows that even at this age he has great prowess with a sword. From this day onward this humble boy and noble girl become best of friends, often meeting in secret. As the seasons come and go {during this part there is a magical special effect that shows them ageing and various seasons passing by. It sometimes speeds up and slows down and various things such as snow or flowers gently float down with Sullie dancing to Jinha playing music. It gives you a real feeling for the very special bond that these two share}. At Sullies request Jinha even attempts to teach Sullie to fight with the sword in the 'Bichun' style. These two develop a profoundly deep passionate love that is most magical between them, and they pledge to each other that they will always be together.

      "We must be bound by an evil destiny." - {Nam Kung Junkwang}

      Unfortunately this idea is eventually scuppered by Sullie's father and they move away. Jinha attempts to intervene but his skill at this point is no match for Sullie's father and brother. Sullie pleads for them not to kill him placing a sword at her own throat indicating if you kill him that she will kill herself, and they agree only to spare him if she does not ever see him again. Before leaving she breaks a Jade amulet into two giving him a piece and keeping one for herself, she tells him she will go to a particular shrine everyday and wait for the day he can come and take her away, and both be together forever. I won't say why {plot spoiler} but the hero Jinha never shows. The general, Sullie's father forces Sullie to be a bride to a powerful noble. She tries and tries in vain to rebel against her father, declaring her eternal love for her childhood sweetheart Jinha.

      Alongside this storyline there is an additional one. Jinha eventually becomes the master of a deadly style of sword fighting called Bichun, but an evil master is hell-bent on finding him and killing him for he knows the secret of his real lineage as well as wanting to get the scrolls that teach the Bichun style of fencing. This evil master goes to sinister lengths to find Jinha and kill him. Jinha even comes to learn that he had slain both of his parents whilst he was still very young. I won't elaborate too much on this plot because I am endeavouring not to spoil the twists to the film and if I say anymore I will reveal too much.

      The film is bolstered by some impressive cinematography and therefore many of the shots in this film are fantastic with Jinha now a master, standing on a roof wearing a cloak and straw hat, a length of material hanging from his sword that was from Sullie's dress. There he is staring down at his eternal love with bitterness flashing in his eyes. The camera work in parts is incredible. The film also does something magical with the special effects. Great masters in myth can expel forces of energy from their body and through their weapons that cause damage to an enemy. This film shows a fantastic manoeuvre where a force of energy is emitted from Jinha's sword causing serious damage to the bad guy. Stay with me on this because although it sounds like far-fetched fantasy the film gets away with it making it wholly plausible. How the effects work is that you see a ripple in the air charging toward the opponent similar to a visible sonic boom, but it is made so well that it looks believable. As for the rest of the fighting it is very realistic, hardcore fighting to get you on the edge of your seat.

      This movie is an emotional rollercoaster that grips to the end. I love watching this film for all the plot twists the gripping intense emotion of the film and a beautifully fantastic soundtrack to boot. On the DVD in the extras menu you can play different tracks from the film with some of them incorporating film footage with it. Most of the music is superb catchy oriental music {panpipes, piano, very catchy melodic stuff} and there are some excellent rock style pieces to and in the film this music accompanies the fighting scenes adding excitement and intensity. WARNING: Do not watch these music videos prior to the film or you will spoil the movie. One of them shows certain clips from the film that includes the ending totally spoiling many of the twists as well plot outcome.

      In this film it is interesting to see the transformation of the main hero Jinha to become a very bitter and twisted individual, for he cannot deal with his emotions and the feeling of betrayal. He goes full circle through the range of emotions, and the interactions between him and Sullie sometimes have you yelling at the telly. Guys do not be put off by the love story because there is so much there for both guys and girls. I find the best time to watch this film, is with your loved one on a quiet night in with a bottle of wine. Word to the wise, you are far better watching in original language with subtitles, rather than cheesy dubbing with its stereotypical oriental interpretations. The English translation is far from accurate to the Korean script, and the dubbed version really spoils the film. I would recommend this film to anybody. This is Korean epic movie making at its finest.

      ==Film Trailer==
      http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=1de63nKBfSs&feature=related

      Thanks 4 reading/rating this review.......Addy

      © June 2008

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