May 10, 2009

100 Days With Mr. Arrogant: Teen Romance for the Marquis De Sade

"Your slave becomes your lover, your lover becomes your wife."

That's a pretty dark sentiment to embed in a goofy rom-com mining laughs from nose-picking, one-liners about tampons, and the slapstick of shoving. Be that as it may, this is the core idea of Shin Dong-yeob's 100 Days With Mr. Arrogant. A twee update of The Taming of the Shrew, Shin's sadistic comedy subs in a poor, underachieving high school senior (Ha Ji-won) for Kate and a spoiled rich college kid (Kim Jae-won) for Petruchio but it's a similarly disquieting fantasy about subjugation as a form of courtship. Even creepier, in this case, when the man enslaves the woman (after she accidentally causes a scratch on his Lexus 430), he isn't doing it because he hopes to make her a wife. He's doing it because he's bored with life in general. That she's cute strikes him as an afterthought; initially he's just looking for someone to clean his apartment, massage his back, and belittle on a daily basis. That he's cute undermines her resistance and causes her to fall head over heels. There's a certain you-can't-help-who-you-fall-for principle at work here...combined with lighthearted cruelty.

No comments:

Post a Comment