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My Dear Enemy

Directed by Lee, Yoon-ki, 2008
24 September 2010

My Dear Enemy is one of those rare films, like Lost in Translation or Adrift in Tokyo, that is able to say so much with so little. The film stars two of South Korea’s most in- demand performers: Do-yeon Jeon and Jung-woo Ha. For Do-yeon Jeon, this is her first performance since her performance in Secret Sunshine which won her the Best Actress Award at Cannes.

Jobless and single in her thirties, Hee-soo is miserable. One day, she sets out to find Byoung-woon, her exboyfriend. It is not love that brings them together but the $1,000 that Hee-soo had lent Byoung-woon a year ago. Byoung-woon is also penniless but happy, relying on the many girls whom he knows are willing to give him money. Afraid Byoung-woon may run off before clearing his debt, Hee-soo follows him as he visits girl after girl to borrow money. The two ex-lovers set out on a one-day journey to collect the money and unwittingly, memories of the past as well.

High tension drama is absent in this film. Crazy plot twists and violence are non-existent.. Yet, My Dear Enemy floors one with its striking combination of realism and idealism. Director Lee, Yoon-ki in a recent interview stated “I basically wanted to audience and be able to reminisce about things that they had forgotten and retrieve certain memories or fragments of the self in the past that they had forgotten. To realise that the meaning of life is in small things, not in grand successes, that’s what I’d like the audience to take away”.

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