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Femme Fatale - Movie Poster
Original Title:
Jook-eo-do Hae-pi En-ding

South Korea 2007

Comedy, Crime

Kang Kyeong-hoon

Ye Ji-won
Im Won-hee
Jo Hee-bong
Jeong Kyung-ho
Richard K. Kim
Park No-sik
Jang Hyeon-seong
Baek Do-bin
Woo Hyeon
Park Myeong-hoon
Jo Eun-ji
Jeong Doo-hong

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Femme Fatale

Story: Ye Ji-won (Ye Ji-won) is an actress and has won an important award. However, these days she can't do a thing without her manager, Im (Im Won-hee). But Im has his hands full when at Christmas several men make a surprise visit at Ji-won's as they want to propose to her. Among them is gangster Kyung-ho (Jo Hee-bong), a professor (Jeong Kyung-ho), an American-Korean (Richard K. Kim) and the director (Park No-sik) of Ji-won's last movie. Because of unfortunate circumstances one of her guests dies, but the manner of death is so odd that the actress fears she could be accused of murder. She can't afford to explain the exact circumstances of her friend's death because she has to accept an award the next day and wants to prevent a scandal hitting the news. Therefore, she tries to hide the body. But that's not that easy since a detective (Jang Hyeon-seong) has parked his car in front of her house in order to capture a burglar who has broken into the homes of the neighborhood during the last few days. Yet, the night has just begun and Ji-won ends up with more than just one body at her house...

Review: The first impression can be quite misleading. A few minutes into "Femme Fatale" you actually want to turn off the movie because you expect an odd romantic comedy mix. But you certainly should stay tuned. If you have become accustomed to the, especially in the beginning, rather unique directing there will be numerous funny moments waiting for you that are strung together and delivered with a high pacing. There are also likeable characters, which we nonetheless don't shed any tears over when they kick the bucket. If "Femme Fatale" had been a black comedy the mix wouldn't have worked out so well. Thanks to its lighthearted nature, though, and the inventive accidents and chance happenings the comedy remains enthralling and funny at all times.

Femme Fatale - Film Screenshot 11

"Femme Fatale" is a remake of the French film "Serial Lover" from 1998. But there is so much cultural humor that this comedy has a strong Korean undertone. Accordingly, there are some dialogues and plays on word that are lost in translation. Yet, there is also a lot of physical humor, meaning that there is also a lot to laugh about cross-cultural. This even starts with the absurd events that lead to the first dead guy. But after that things start to become really chaotic. One problem leads to the next until it seems impossible to get out of the predicament unscathed. And as things evolve we even start to root for the protagonist, because strictly speaking she isn't to be blamed for any of the cases of death. Especially well achieved is the way the individual scenes are interlocked and create a mountain of more and more impregnable problems.

Femme Fatale - Film Screenshot 12

There is no time for a breather in this comedy. At the end you will have lost count of how many times a body has been dragged from one place to another and yet we never get tired of watching the two helpless protagonists do so. There is constantly something unexpected happening, even when you think that all is over bar the shouting. It's particularly the sense for the right timing that especially makes those scenes work out so well which simply involve Ji-won's attempts for her guests not to see the body that is about to fall out of the fridge etc. Apart from that there is also some humoristic reference to director Kim Ki-duk or a nice "Ring"-parody. The movie gets really disgusting, too, as the scenes involving a blocked toilette are proof of.

Ye Ji-won ("Old Miss Diary") seems to be way too shallow and dopey for us to really sympathize with her, but the mix of helplessness and daringness she shows eventually will win you over. Standing at her side is Im Won-hee ("Le Grand Chef"), who being Ji-won's manager constantly has to clean up behind the actress. Thanks to the limited room the movie takes place in, actually it's just the home of the actress, the movie also has a certain stage play flair, which is very becoming to it and moreover creates a very unique dynamic. Not everything may work perfectly, especially the subplot surrounding the burglar seems to be a bit too much, but the high amount of characters in fact adds a lot to the comedy.

Femme Fatale - Film Screenshot 13

The plot develops in a smart way, even though there are naturally some coincidences leading to several predicaments that you need to accept. The great pacing, which constantly shifts up a gear until it becomes almost insanely fast, as well as the fantastic timing of the gags make you overlook some minor points of criticism, e.g. the fact that the comedy makes you laugh by rather simple means. But chaos as a means for humor works out great, at least here, so why not stick with it? Furthermore, "Femme Fatale" turns out to be so successful as a comedy, because it never becomes too serious, but instead always stays true to its lighthearted tone that doesn't leave any room for unnecessary drama or romantic insertions. A good mood and a lot of laughter is almost guaranteed.

(Author: Manfred Selzer)
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