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(aka "Haepi-endeu")

 

directed by Ji-woo Jung
South Korea
1999

 

Happy End is about Choi Bora (Jeon Do-yeon), a successful career woman who becomes involved with her ex-lover, Kim Il-beom (Joo Jin-mo). Bora's home life is a snore: she's mother to an infant child and her husband, Seo Min-ki (Choi Min-sik) has lost his job, leaving Bora as the family's sole breadwinner. It's unclear if Bora is with Il-beom just for the sex or for the passion, both of which Min-ki seems incapable of giving. But it seems the jobless Min-ki hasn't been just wandering around parks and reading romance novels as first thought; he knows something is going on, and he's collecting evidence.


Although Happy End ends rather unhappily, the film is not altogether downbeat. Director Jung Ji-woo has taken the role of observer, using mostly handheld cameras to capture the events in the lives of his 3 main subjects.


The film is sexually explicit, and there is one scene of brutal violence.

 Excerpt from Wikipedia located HERE

***

"Debut for director Jung Ji-woo and starring Choi Min-sik (Failan) as the husband, Jeon Do-yeon (No Blood No Tears) as the wife and Jin Mo-joo (Wanee and Junah) as her passionate lover. The film caused a sensation when it was released due to Jeon Do-Yeon's sensational sex scenes which I must admit enjoyed no fast stylish editing here just pure unadulterated sex.
 
OK before you get carried away with naked thoughts of the curvy Jeon Do-yeon who incidentally look like she has lost weight in comparison to her No Blood No Tears role, the movie has some fine performances of yearning, despair and hopelessness to lift this way above the usual "having an affair" movie. Daily routines similar to our own mundane/content livelihoods are played out on screen for us to relate too. You can't help but feel sorry for everyone and the situations we all share or hope never to experience ... but it happens ...
 
The film hasn't been talked about much simply because its not widely available on DVD and everyone seemed to have missed it on the big screen with only Darcy naming it in his favourite movie list that I happen to seek this one out ... a Cat III DVD in my eyes automatically means silly soft core porn be it made in HK or Korean so I would have probably ignored it.
 
The ending to this movie has the question "Happy End?" come up before the credits roll ... a fitting description as it leaves you pondering about what you just saw ...
 
... sorry to those people who may think I gave away the ending but I don't think you can really call that a spoiler ...
"

Kin Ho

Poster

Theatrical Premiere: December 11th, 1999

 

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DVD Review: Tai Seng - Region 0 - NTSC

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Distribution

Tai Seng

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:39:24
Video

1.94:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.55 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (Korean)
Subtitles English, Cantonese, Mandarin, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Tai Seng

Aspect Ratio:
Letterboxed - 1.94:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: April 30th, 2002
Keep Case

Chapters 8

 

 

 

Comments

An appealing film that struggles with inferior DVD releases since it became available over 15-years ago. I've yet to come across an anamorphic transfer of the Happy End and Kino Ho reviewed, for DVDBeaver many years ago, another  letterboxed DVD, from Universe Laser & Video Co. Ltd. - region 3 - released in 2001. It's OOP but it looked even better than this one from Tai Seng.

It's single-layered and interlaced in the odd 1.94:1 aspect ratio and looks very poor - soft, video-like, virtually unwatchable. 

Lossy Dolby in original Korean but it isn't dramatically better than the video. There are optional, occasionally awkward, English and Chinese subtitles in an absurdly large font (see sample below) on the NTSC DVD.

More a warning to avoid this release and perhaps a request for anyone to let me know if a better one for Happy End exists - and where.

  - Gary Tooze

 



 

DVD Menu
 

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

  

  

Distribution

Tai Seng

Region 0 - NTSC

 




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