Untold Scandal

Cast: Mi-suk Lee, Do-yeon Jeon, Yong-jun Bae
Director: Je-young Lee
Certificate: S.Kor 2004, Cert 18, rt 124 mins,

The Dangerous Liaisons story is given a faithful recreation in the exotic surroundings of 18th century Korea. Its been given a wonderful reception in its home country where its been a big box office hit and one can see why.

It’s a great story for a start. For those not familiar with it, two love-entangled Courtesans, one male, one female make a pact to cause disruption in the lives of others through disguised romances that are meant to be love, for the cause of a bet and all will go well with their devious plan provided that true love is ultimately avoided. In the course of these romantic entanglements, things don’t go as planned.

Untold Scandal is a visually stunning mix of wonderful costumes and great cinematography and the cast play out the story with satisfactory zeal and guile. Those that know the story well would do best to avoid it because it won’t add anything new that you wouldn’t expect. For those not familiar with the story however, this is worth seeking out if you like romantic costume dramas where the leading protagonists are scheming in a battle of wits. Its sure to find an Asian audience – whether it finds a wider one is perhaps debateable merely because the story of Les Liaisons Dangereuses is so widely known these days and most recently got the young Hollywood treatment courtesy of Ryan Philippe and Sarah Michelle Gellar.

Matt Arnoldi

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