My Friend and His Wife
Directed by Shin Dong-il (2006)
28 May 2010
Jae-moon (Park Hee-soon) and Ye-joon (Jang Hyun-sung) are friends since their days of obligatory military service. Even though their trajectories have diverged- Jae-moon is a cook of limited aspirations while Ye-joon is a stockbroker of heightened anticipations- their friendship has maintained a deep and tender level of understanding. Jae-Moon has a charming wife, Ji-Sook, who manages a small beauty shop. The couple had been saving money to move to the United States in search of a better future. However they find out that the money has fallen into the wrong hands, and their savings are lost. Time passes, and the two friends go on with their lives, not seeing each other as often as in the past. Meanwhile, Ji-Sook wants to go to a beauty workshop in France. Jae-Moon encourages her to go and promises to take care of their newborn baby. After Ji-Sook leaves for Paris, Jae-Moon invites Ye-Joon for dinner at his house. But a tragic accident occurs, testing the nature of their friendship. The film’s visual minimalism accentuates the characterisation and moralistic traits in this story of an unusual human triangle.
Writer-director Shin made his feature debut with Host and Guest in 2005, premiering it at Pusan where it was unanimously praised. His film My Friend and His Wife was critically acclaimed at the Pusan International Film Festival, as a film that is ‘superbly honed at every level, with dialogue, performances and direction meshing in a seamless, apparently effortless flow’.