I’d like to know why the spells are in Japanese.
Okay, maybe I already know the answer to that—it has a lot to do with South Korea’s complicated history with Japan.
I had looked forward to this movie even without watching the teasers. The drop-dead gorgeous actors and the production team were more than enough to convince me to watch the movie. However, the more I watched it, the more confused I became regarding how I actually felt about the movie.
Don’t get me wrong—the plot is interesting; quite different from most of the STRONGBERRY movies I’ve watched. It somehow reminded me of the strangeness of Secret Spectacles—the odd, almost fantasy-like storyline (although this movie falls under magic realism more than anything else). Sweet Curse (also known as Dalkomhan Jeoju in Korean), on the other hand, falls under horror-comedy, with not as much emphasis on romance.
This short film is about 31 minutes long and is directed by Kang Woo. It starts off with some hilarious scenes at a gay bar, where a group of friends tries to summon a ghost in order to find out more about their true love. The main lead, Hajun (Bang Jihyun), is introduced to us as a perfect man “inside out.” Everyone seems to be in awe of him, including Minwoo (Kim Seongsoo), who seems to have a crush on him. At least, you think so too, until you realise that he’s extremely jealous of him. In fact, his envy triumphs over any of his other feelings, so much so that he curses Hajun.
The movie is mainly divided into three parts after the introduction—Mediumship (or Gwijeob in Korean), where we’re introduced to what the curse is; Love Affair (or Yeonae), where we’re introduced to the ‘sweet curse’, a ghost (played by Song Yeonho) who eats away at Hajun’s stamina, only to fall in love with him the more he interacts with him; and Curse (or Jeoju), where we get to see more of Minwoo’s envy and his reasons behind the curse. This section, surprisingly, plays with the notions of the Devil being ‘charming’ (Minwoo’s words) and gay (in all senses). All in all, the plot is strange, yet engaging and hilarious at the same time.
Usually, in most STRONGBERRY movies, we get to see the chemistry being built between the main leads first, and then we get a glimpse into the more private parts of their lives. In this movie, however, we get the steamy scenes first—from Hajun’s wet dreams (a result of the ghost haunting him) to the actual sex scenes involving him and his ghost lover. These were definitely toward the other end of the spectrum; they were not the soft, cuddly scenes that I was more used to. Just like Secret Spectacles, there were some naked butts involved (not that I’m complaining).
Overall, the movie is a fun watch for those who like horror comedies. I’m not sure how to feel about the Japanese curses or the odd yoga class (which featured Kim Joon Bum from Some More), but the premise makes it a unique movie, one that makes you laugh a lot and probably wince a bit. The main leads are cute (for a human-ghost couple), and this time, the second lead makes you glad that you’re not really rooting for him—I don’t think anyone would feel like doing so anyway. But they’re good-looking both individually and together, so that might convince you to root for him as well. I, for one, wouldn’t want to get behind them, and I’m sure a lot of people wouldn’t, either. Their behind-the-scenes clips may make you change your mind, though (just saying)—they’re very cute and funny. It’s a fascinating movie that you may not want to miss out on.
Rating: 3.75 out of 5