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Renowned Korean filmmaker Im Kwon Taek offers his own unique take on a classic romantic fable with this 13th century tale of a stunningly beautiful young woman torn between the man she loves and the governor she's obligated to marry. The film uses the framing device of a present-day narrator who, accompanied by a drummer, sings the story of Chunhyang in front of a responsive audience. The film flashes back and forth between the singer's presentation and scenes of Mongryong (Cho Seung Woo), a young nobleman who falls captive to the beauty of the commoner Chunhyang (Yi Hyo Jeong). They… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A seductively watchable, mythically resonant experience."
‑ Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star
"Lingers long in the memory, its rich colors and striking images giving off an iridescent afterglow."
‑ , Hollywood Reporter
"Part Disney, part Karl Marx, the movie might be characterized as a North Korean post-revolutionary blockbuster. And though the persecuted protagonist is hardly a shrinking violet but not quite a budding feminist, hey, we're talking centuries ago."
‑ Prairie Miller, NewsBlaze
"Though a beautiful costume film with Hollywood production values and a cast of thousands, I just couldn't get into the epic story."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Here's your chance to savor the work of Im Kwon Taek, the finest living chronicler of Korean culture."
‑ Joe Baltake, Sacramento Bee
"A premodern folk tale in a postmodern form that refreshes both the eye and our ideas about storytelling."
‑ Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail
"Admiration gives way to something like enthrallment. Be patient and you'll see that this picture casts its own peculiar spell."
‑ Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Chunhyang is a gorgeous, elaborate film that feels like a fairy tale with a fresh coat of paint. Unfortunately, the paint is the most interesting part."
‑ Jeffrey Overstreet, Looking Closer
"Song, colour, amazing costumes, drama, pathos, passion and, surprisingly, quite a few laughs -- it's all here in Chunhyang."
‑ Liz Braun, Jam! Movies
"charming Korean folk tale in a palatable format for Western audiences"
‑ John A. Nesbit, Old School Reviews
"Im's movie approaches a seething, primitivist beauty that evokes Makhmalbaf and parallels the contrapuntal textual investigations of Resnais."
‑ Michael Atkinson, Village Voice
"Reminded of 'Ever After,' a film that took a standard western myth and updated it with wit, verve and relevance. This is in that league, and rather more elegant and adult."
‑ Burl Burlingame, Honolulu Star-Advertiser
"[The] film is handsomely mounted--from the sets and costuming to the appealing young stars--and ultimately a lot of fun."
‑ Michael Dequina,
"A beautiful-looking, lush and romantic folktale that's downright irresistible."
‑ Jeff Vice, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
"While much can be said about the social and gender issues raised in the film, Chunhyang's fairy-tale qualities greatly outweigh any serious political critique."
‑ Dale Leech, PopMatters
More reviews for Chunhyangdyun on Rotten Tomatoes