(Haebyonui yoin )
© 2006 by C. E. Murphy. All Rights Reserved.
L to R: Kim Seung-woo as Kim
Jong-rae, Ko Hyun-joung as Kim
Moon-sook, and Kim Tae-woo as Won
Chang-wook in
Woman on the Beach
(Haebyonui yoin)
Directed by Hong Sang-soo, South Korea

Photo Credit: Mirovision Inc.

       Kim Jong-rae (Kim Seung-woo) is a Korean filmmaker who is attempting
to finish a screenplay but is blocked. He proposes a trip to the sea shore to his
production designer Won Chang-wook (Kim Tae-woo). Won reluctantly agrees
but only if he can bring along his girlfriend Kim Moon-sook (Ko Hyun-joung),
a classically-trained composer who pens contemporary songs to make a living.
During the car trip to the beach, and even once at the resort, the director
flirts with the musician. He blithely points out that Won is married and Kim Moon-
sook takes great pains to indicate that she is not romantically involved with
the designer. Instead, she prefers the director. The pair enjoy a one-night
stand and then they head back to Seoul. The director is still suffering from
writer's block and returns to the sea where he encounters another woman,
Choi Sun-hee (Song Sun-mi) with whom he engages in a brief affair. The
arrival of Kim Moon-sook complicates matters and forces the director to
make a choice between the two women.

       Hong Sangsoo has written and directed this charming, if overlong,
romantic comedy-drama. The performances, partlcularly by Ko Hyij-joung
and Kim Seung-woo, are quite good. With some judicious editing, the film,
which runs over two hours -- way too long for a romantic comedy-drama,
might find an arthouse audience.

                        Rating:                B -
                        Running time:     127 mins.