Our Rating: ★★☆☆☆
L Factor: Major lesbian characters
Short Take: A Korean love triangle in which a police detective deals with his wife and his mistress, who were both lovers before they met him.
Alternate Titles: Juhong geulshi
Year: 2004
Duration: 115 min
Language: South Korea/Korean
MPAA: Not Rated
Director: Hyuk Byun
Writer:
Starring: Suk-kyu Han, Eun-ju Lee, Hyeon-a Seong, Ji-won Uhm, Jin-geun Kim

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Scarlet LetterKi-hoon (Suk-kyu Han) is a hot shot police detective with a problem. Both his wife Su-hyeon (Ji-won Uhm) and mistress Ga-hee (Eun-ju Lee) are pregnant at the same time, and all three of them are on a painful emotional rollercoaster.

Parallel to the personal stories, he is working on a murder case in which the husband of Kyeong-hie (Hyeon-a Seong) was killed. She is a suspect, but her possible motivations for the crime are complicated.

What gives the love triangle an unusual twist is that Su-hyeon and Ga-hee were lovers before either met Ki-hoon. Su-hyeon fell in love with him, but Ga-hee pursued and married him so that she wouldn’t lose her girlfriend completely. (This same ludicrous plot point was used in the Hong Kong film Tempting Heart.)

The climax of the lovers’ predicament is uniquely dark, violent and unexpected, and it gives Ki-hoon insight into what really happened in the murder case. It’s actually not a bad film, but it’s one in which the lesbian relationship was seemingly thrown in for misguided dramatic effect, unfortunately souring the viewing experience. (AB)