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Failan (2001)

Cast: Cecilia Cheung, Choi Min-Sik
Director: Song Hye-sung
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Tai Seng Video Marketing, Inc.
Running Time: 116 min.

Cecilia Cheung stars in this romantic drama as Failan, a Chinese immigrant in search of her parents in Korea. Though she arrives looking for her parents, Failan finds an unexpected love in the form of a nomadic gangster.

GreenCine Member Reviews

Choi Min-Sik fest by Popnfresh December 18, 2005 - 5:32 PM PST
0 out of 1 members found this review helpful
Failan can be a difficult film to want to watch. It's one of the most emotionally draining films I've seen in a long time. Read the other reviews to get a good idea of what to expect....

Having seen this film, I was unprepared for the performance Choi Min-Sik puts on in Oldboy. He is an impressive actor, and it might be interesting to rent Failan and Oldboy for a Choi Min-Sik glumfest, though the two films jerk you in different directions, both are devastating in the end.

Failan is not a party movie by eggshape January 15, 2005 - 10:41 PM PST
1 out of 2 members found this review helpful
The reviews below provide good technical and artistic critiques and only hint at the film's emotional impact. The synopsis is not correct and is misleading. This is NOT a romantic movie. Failan weaves the best and ugliest aspects of our lives into a complex story that punches the audience in the guts. It is bare-fisted movie-making, and the blood and tears will fly. It is Shakespeare on kimchi. Cecilia Cheung's angelic looks add a sledge-hammer effect to her portrayal of Failan. She plays an orphaned cinderella-archetype who is "married" to a failed gangster. No glass slipper and no fairy godmother exist - only the logical fall and cut of the story's fabric. In Failan's dark folds, I see hope, courage, and redemption from choice, but I had to squint really hard.

Intensity by squad September 14, 2004 - 8:49 PM PDT
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
South Korea can't help it that it is jammed down on a hilly, chilly peninsula with the oppressive presence of North Korea and China.
But my theory is that the precarious place lends an energy to the economy and culture. Among the Korean films that I have seen: "The Isle", "Musa The Warrior", "Joint Security Area", "Chunhyang", are films that are one-time experiences for me. They are so charged with energy, intensity and gritty scenes that revisiting them is difficult to imagine. They are too "close to the bone" showing human behavior and cultural reality, yet they are unforgettable and emerge into the international cinema because of their power.

"Failan" is another such film that by its end had me feeling the gritty reality down to the smells of the bad air in close quarters and of piss splashing against a wall, the ravaged face of a man who finds feeling too late, bringing to mind the lyric "He's just a man who can't feel enough to cry and when he cries he's drowning" ("I'm Just Looking for A Home" by Joy Askew, Tender City). Gangster life is established with a vengeance early in the film, and slowly this spirit of the girl, Failan, is injected into the film and the heart and psyche of her low-life husband. The rain is real rain (not a hose sprayed on a sunny day as in most films), the Inchon streets are rich with ratty urban clutter detail. Another example is box of video tapes seen at the beginning and end of the film for a reason, which is to say that the story is complex and well developed. Failan herself is a clever girl and her actions enrich the story. Film extras include a synopsis which I recommend beforehand because of the complexity of the interwoven timeline.

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GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.16)
70 Votes
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