July 28, 2007

Driving With My Wife's Lover

Driving With My Wife’s Lover is an unusual for a Korean film. For starters it’s funny which makes it unlike any Korean film, form the likes of Kim Ki Duk or Park Chang Wook (Old Boy) that you’d usually get to see in India.

The film deals with the journey a man undertakes from a town to Seoul to track down his wife’s lover. He has plans to confront and seek revenge but when he meets the lover, a cabbie, he ends up hiring him to drive him back to the small town he came from. On the way the men are confronted by a series of situations and the two opposites take off. Once on the road the man gets ample time to think about the course of action for his plans but doesn’t reveal his identity to the cabbie. A certain male bonding forces the man to abort his plans for he realizes that they aren’t that different after all. Once back in the town the man undertakes the journey again to elicit vengeance but ends up meeting the wife of his wife’s lover. The taxi driver’s wife confesses that she knows her husband cheats but her love for him stops her from doing anything while the man confesses that he wants to kill both his wife and her husband but can’t get himself to do so. Soon the two lonely people find solace in each other’s arms and end up sleeping together.

The next morning the cabbie returns and is hopping mad when he sees the wife sleeping with the man he drove around. He accuses his ex-passenger of being a fake and tells him that it’s a pity that he’s untrue to his nice self for sleeping with someone else’s wife. The cabbie just can’t take the fact that perhaps his wife could pay him back in the same coin. It’s here that the man divulges his identity to the cab driver and the look on the cab driver’s face is revenge enough for the protagonist. The film ends with an epilogue wherein the cabbie confronts the man once again. His wife has since left him but the cab driver still thinks that the man is lying about him sleeping with his wife.

The film’s humor of the film and it’s tragic-comic tone is what makes it interesting. The two men, who are same yet different as day and night, keep at each other for a better part of the film and it’s their chemistry that keeps you riveted to the screen. Eminently enjoyable, Driving My Wife’s Lover seems like an eccentric road tale film but is a well-mounted story that has some great character study. The film paints an intimate picture about love, loneliness and comfort. This stylized debut from director Kim Tai-Sik may look like a straight tale about infidelity but transforms into a journey of self-discovery.

Image Courtesy: www.cine21.com

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