Udine FEFF 14: ‘ My Secret Partner’ (2011, South Korea) Review

Directed by Parkhun-soo

Erotic comedy, 117′

Director Park Heon-soo approaches the diverse world of pink cinema with ‘My Secret Partner’, a witty product that showcases a simple, yet twisted plot about two unlikely relationships with raw physical intensity serving as a source for creativity.

The film tells the story of Jun-Seok, a high school teacher and screenplay writer, and Yeon-Hee Myang, a famous chef and author, who both engage in secret, passionate relationships with  their students Yeon-See and Min-Soo. Yeon-See (a very skilled cook himself) is, in fact, Jun-Seok’s son, just as Min-Soo (an aspiring novelist) is Yeon-Hee’s daughter, everything unbeknownst to the four. The criss-cross relationships are a constant source of humour, as the couples serve as inspiration for each other. However, all takes a turn for the worst when they realize the damage that their infatuations could do to their careers.

The plot, as mentioned earlier, starts out simple with the classic “boy meets girl” situations and goes along those lines halfway through the movie, but it branches out when the characters start to recognize their ties to be parasitical as they start using each other. Although not the most original of plots, it’s well put onto the big screen and will definitely keep the audience guessing constantly.

Great performances by Young-ho Kim, Hye-sun Kim, San-ho Kim and Chaee Yun as a unit. Very diverse characters, yet blended together under ambition and passion, the four put on a great show as both the parent-child and teacher-student relationships evolve through the plot. Each has his own character-defining progression paths that set them apart as individuals, but it’s the amalgam of feelings and interactions between them that keeps the plot going on.

The accent is heavily placed on the sex scenes, which are very graphic and lengthy compared to similar films. “My Secret Partner” outlines intercourse as an endless source of inspiration but also discord. Important plot points and details are often included in said scenes, thus challenging the audience to look past the obvious and keep up with the action, as everything ties up in the end.

A five star experience overall, ‘My Secret Partner’ is not just another sex movie. The scenes intertwine very smoothly – despite constant scenery changes to the bedrooms -  while the characters were dynamic and expertly portrayed, with no wasted dialogue between them. The plot is simple and revolves around the illicit student-teacher affairs, but also outlines two unlikely love stories. A definite must see for all k-film fans. If you don’t mind all the sex, that is.

Review by Mihnea Gheorghita

 


CUEAFS

About CUEAFS

Award-winning film society bringing the best of East Asian cinema to the UK. CUEAFS continues to grow in stature and reputation, winning ‘Best Student Film Society’ in the UK at the 2012 British Federation of Film Societies Awards, ‘Best Society’ at the 2011 Coventry University Students’ Union Awards, and the Cecil Angel Cup in the same year.