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(aka "Shi Gan" )

 

directed by Ki-duk Kim
South Korea 2006

 

Seh-hee (Ji-Yeon Park, MEMENTO MORI and its follow-up WISHING STAIRS) is pathologically jealous whenever her boyfriend Ji-woo (Jung-woo Ha, BREATH) so much as looks or speaks to another woman. Convinced that Ji-woo has grown tired of her, Seh-hee approaches a plastic surgeon (Sung-min Kim) and asks him to give her a completely new face (the work is so extensive that it will take six months to fully heal). Ji-woo discovers that Seh-hee has moved out of her apartment and disappeared entirely. His friends set him up with a few women, but Ji-woo can't get over Seh-hee. A few weeks after an encounter with a mysterious woman wearing a mask, he meets pretty waitress See-hee (Hyeon-a Seong, CELLO) and starts to fall for her, but confesses that he is not over Seh-hee. See-hee, actually Seh-hee post-plastic surgery, is both overjoyed and saddened that she has erased all trace of the woman Ji-woo really loves. When she confesses her true identity to him, Ji-woo reacts with horror instead of relief and disappears. Seh-hee/See-hee learns from her plastic surgeon that Ji-woo has also gone under the knife. A month later, she meets a masked man who tells her to find him again in five months to see his new face. Is he Ji-woo? Are any of the new men she meets Ji-woo? Or is he watching her the way she watched him? What could potentially be either a creative or trite thriller (especially when you are aware that Korea's plastic surgery craze rivals that of America) is instead an imperfect melodrama. Seh-hee is shrill, but she is not wrong about Ji-woo's wandering eye. A mooning Ji-woo doesn't engage our sympathies (less so when seen in the company of his jerk-ass friends) and See-hee displays no more depth than Seh-hee (Hyeon-a Seong is already seasoned in neurosis from CELLO and goes off the deep nicely here). Things pick up when the tables are turned and See-hee is unsure of just how far Ji-woo will take things (he may have stabbed one of the men who See-hee thought was Ji-woo. A montage of real plastic surgery early on is really grisly (although not really unexpected from the director of THE ISLE) but underlines the painful extremes that some people undergo to change their shell.

Eric Cotenas

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Theatrical Release: 10 August 2006 (South Korea)

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DVD Review: Palisades Tartan - Region 2 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Palisades Tartan

Region 2 - NTSC

Runtime 1:38:12
Video

1.81:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.20 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 Korean Dolby Digital 5.1; Korean Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Palisades Tartan

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.81:1

Edition Details:
• Behind the Scenes (4:3; 44:46 - English subtitles)
• Theatrical Trailer (4:3; 1:58 - English subtitles)

DVD Release Date: August 16th, 2010
Amaray

Chapters 16

 

Comments

Palisades Tartan's Region 2 DVD is NTSC-encoded; as such, the dual-layer, anamorphic transfer is also progressive. The original 5.1 is not very active (there are occasional surround effects, but the music is the most active element other than the dialogue), so the 2.0 downmix is also workable.

The making-of is 45 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage without interviews or even structuring narration, but it is subtitled (as is the trailer, which gives away much of the plot). The R1 and R3 editions appear to be the same in terms of audio options and extras.

  - Eric Cotenas

 



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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Palisades Tartan

Region 2 - NTSC

 

 




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