Petty Romance – CUEAFS Critical Review.

Petty Romance (2010) is a South Korean film about a relationship between a comic artist, Jeong Bae and previous columnist Han Da-Rim. They are both at point of struggle in their careers, and come together at the opportunity of a huge cash prize by submitting a new adult comic line to a competition. Jeong Bae looks for a story writer for his comic strip and this is where he crosses paths with Han Da-Rim. She uses her charm to make herself seem better than she really is, making Bae eager to hire her. Initially, I found the storyline hard to get into however I was intrigued to see where the story would go.

The idea for their comic is made up of a sex-obsessed female who possesses males to keep them as her sex slave then kills them. Bae feels that the story line is over the top, emphasising how Da-Rim is clueless when it comes to this subject. A male character is also created, based on the idea of Da-Rim’s brother who she is currently sponging off. Their disagreements on the work which is produced proves better than they imagined and we see the work take off. At first, I didn’t take too much to Da-Rim’s character who made herself out to be quite cocky expecting Bae to meet her needs and at one point believed that he liked her – quite similar to the comic they are creating where the female is dominant.

As a viewer, at first I was unsure as to how the two felt about each other especially with the hot-cold relationship they had. However after some romantic montages as they thought about each other, it was clear there were feelings. I felt this moment was where the title became related as their need to act headstrong whilst in denial about their feelings for each other is quite ‘petty’. However, a twist is thrown into the plot when they are both offered opportunities. Da-Rim is given an interview for her brother’s firm for a secure office job whilst Bae is requested by a top story writer in Pakistan. Meanwhile, their arguments remain as Bae snubs off Da-Rim after seeing her brother mistaking him for another lover, whilst Da-Rim is oblivious to what she has done wrong. He argues about the length of her skirt and being late, all adding to the ‘petty romance’ which is blossoming.

Eventually, we get to see the lighthearted side of the couple and begin to see the relationship grow. One bedroom scene created some awkwardness but was highly entertaining. It even becomes quite sweet how the couple start to look after and care for each other. But soon the decisions of what to do our looming, and whilst Da-Rim turns down her opportunity after feeling the happiest she has ever been, Bae decides to take his and gets ready to leave for Pakistan. I almost began to feel sorry for Da-Rim as she was left alone, as well as ripping up their comic – bit of a waste of time? However unexpectedly, Da-Rim receives a phone call of congratulations to discover she has won the competition, and when she attends the award ceremony Bae is there, having stayed all along. To this point I got a bit confused as to what he needed to go for, or why he didn’t go, whilst Da-Rim was unsatisfied by the fact he had stayed for her. Eventually he tells her how she is all he needed, and the two of them rekindle their romance.

What I found interesting about this film is how they discovered each other and developed their relationship based on people they actually weren’t. Once they saw past this in each other, we began to see the real relationship develop. The storyline was quite slow, with not much scope as to where it was going, I feel I expected more.


~ by victoriasimkissphotography on May 25, 2013.

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