Dir: Im Kwontaek | Dragons & Tigers | South Korea | 2014 | 93 mins
Monday Oct 06 9:00 pm | Vancouver Playhouse
Revivre is director Im Kwon Taek’s 102nd film; a melodramatic film about Oh Sang-Moo (Ahn Seong Gi), a busy but respectable CEO at a large cosmetic company. His wife (Kim Ho-Jung) is suffering a detrimental tumor at the same time the company hires a young and beautiful new marketing assistant Chu Eun Ju (Kim Gyu Ri). The film follows his struggle between taking care of his dying wife and falling in love with another woman through alternating scenes between the heartbreaking suffering of his wife and Sang-Moo standing by her throughout her progressive stages, and his continual lustful desires for Gyu Ri. Although he ultimately remains loyal to his wife even after her passing by avoiding Gyu Ri’s advancement, can the audience really forgive him for all the cheating he’s done mentally throughout the process?
The main question throughout the film has been whether he really loves his wife or not. We’re not the only ones wondering this, as even his daughter in the film questions, “Did you ever love mom? You never seemed to fancy her much.” The scene reveals no direct answer from Sang-Moo, but instead flashes to a memory when he helps his wife as she slowly loses her ability to take care of herself. He stands by his wife in these scenes despite the situation and shows the amount of service he gives to her. But are all of these just a substitution for real love? The film challenges our thinking of what it means to truly love, and to truly to stay faithful to a mate. Is it enough to be there for the other in times of sickness and health, and does the lust that he had for Gyu Ri really matter in the end when he ultimately decides to not act on it? The beautifully filmed, heart wrenching and emotionally conflicting film will play with your emotions as well as question the definition of love.