Tuesday, 17 November 2009

A Frozen Flower (쌍화점) (2009)

Speaking both as a God-fearing Christian movie-goer and a member of the general public, allow me to full-heartedly endorse Korean director Yoo Ha’s effort in making a historical court drama with homosexual themes.

Anticipating Jane Austen's novels by a few centuries, this domestic melodrama is about inheritance, power, and marriage. The unhappy king, chafing under his status as a vassal prince to the great Mongol Empire, stands to lose his power, his land and his title if he does not produce an heir to his throne. Unhappily married to the Mongolian princess, the king seeks solace in the arms of his strapping bodyguard.

It probably seemed like a good idea at that time to order the bodyguard to serve as the breeding stallion to the princess, but that will expectedly lead to a romantic triangle, a royal melodrama, and other gruesome and bloody political intrigues that dominate this picture. That and a host of explicit scenes.

Comparisons to King and the Clown will not suffice as director Yoo Ha is intent on marching to his own beat, one not sanctioned by the gay lobby and the politically-correct sanctions of the elites. While the homosexual angle is used very sparingly – there is but just one short, strangely unpassionate sex scene and plenty of saccharine dialogue commonly seen in gay-themed dramas produced for straight female fangirls – what drives this movie is the genuine passion and affection from the heterosexual bonding and secret trysts between these two victims of the king.

While this means that the expected romantic triangle is more like a tripod with 1 very short leg, the director's courage in sending the message that gays can change, and that heterosexual love has no substitutes, is something to be admired.

First published at incinemas on 23 July 2009
(Yes, I know I forgot to upload it here)

1 comment:

Vernon Chan said...

Of course, the key to this joke is in understanding the Korean psyche. There is no doubt that gays and gay-themed movies and serials are popular in Korea (See: Coffee Prince), but we have to qualify this by noting that it's a safe homosexuality that's onscreen: one that satisfies the teenage girls, the conservative aunties, and the country's burgeoning Protestant population.

In other words: I'm still waiting for an LGBT movie that isn't safe fangirl bait.