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Plot:

A noble, high-class scholar starts to write erotic novels in 18th century of Chosun dynasty. He falls in love with a king’s woman…

Also Known As: Eum-lan-seo-seng, Forbidden Quest, Búsqueda prohibida

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  • ramunas-kiska
    ramunas kiska

    There is such an appealing wit and charm about this film that, for all it’s changes of tone and balance, it’s still well worth seeing.Set in a Korea of several hundred years ago, it’s the story of a scholar/author, Yun-seo, who, while investigating art fraud, stumbles upon a scribe copying an indecent novel. After token resistance at the appalling idea of one so scholarly as he lowering himself to reading such trash, he tries his hand at writing one. As a mental exercise, of course.It proves a great success with (ahem) desperate housewives all over the city. It’s such a hit, in fact, that he is urged to write a sequel. This time, he decides to illustrate it with suitably saucy drawings. He enlists the local Chief of police (and traditional family enemy), Gwang-heon, who has a talent for art and doodles as a hobby. The problem is, the positions Yun-seo describes are so outlandish that Gwang-heon can’t draw them, simply because he can’t picture them in his mind’s eye.Enter the King’s wife, Queen Jeong-bin, who happens to have read the books and is tantalised by the thought of meeting the author. In Jeong-bin, Yun-seo finds the perfect muse for his imagination, and Gwang-heon finds the necessary model for his illustrations. The troubles, for both the characters and the film, come with Jeong-bin discovering that she is being used. The revenge she exacts is way gruesome, and the emotional distress of the King at finding out about the affair is really out of place with the tone of the rest of the film.Nevertheless, the director and writer Kim Dae-woo has taken a potentially gratuitous, one-joke idea and fleshed it out in very unexpected ways. Although the film is focused on sexual gratification and sexual repression, the ways in which the viewer is shown what it being described – from tiny holograms climbing onto a table to demonstrate a position, to the old scribe having his rickety old legs manipulated by Yun-seo – have to be seen to be fully appreciated. If you don’t laugh out loud several times at the sheer ingenuity of it, there just might be something wrong with you.It gets an 8/10 even though the ending was a bit of a disappointment.

  • natalina-moutzoure
    natalina moutzoure

    I just returned from having watched this lovely film and I feel bad for having watched it without my friends. That’s right, this is one of those films that young people should go to watch with their friends. However, it is not trashy Hollywood fare, rather the film moves from genre to genre with ease. It covers comedy, slapstick, drama, excruciating torture, gore, erotica and a plot so twisted it sometimes feel like a complete figment of the protagonist’s imagination. Its a simple story of an accomplished author who tries his hand at writing erotic stories as an sport since it was banned in Korea at the time. In the process of writing these stories he uses people for inspiration. And then, there is also the plot where the king and queen get involved (you should get a fair idea where I’m coming from). So all in all, its total entertainment and an lovely film to watch with buddies. However it may not have lasting power and you may not remember it the following day, but you certainly will have fun watching it.PS: The other person who’s commented on this film has mistakenly identified the queen as the king’s favourite concubine, which is incorrect since the film clearly indicates that the character is the queen’s.