June 26, 2010

Temptation of Eve: A Good Wife: And Now a Word on Hot-bodied Backstabbers

I hereby postulate that actors who are stunningly beautiful (Sophia Loren, Nastassja Kinski, Marlon Brando, etc.) don't need to act. Instead, they can stare disinterestedly into the distance for all I care. I'll do the hard work and invest their faces with deeper meaning. Actors who are simply really good looking however better have some acting chops to go with those chiseled features. Otherwise, like in Kwak Jeong-deok's Temptation of Eve: A Good Wife, you grow to resent them a little as the film goes on. Neither Kim Tae-hyeon nor Jin Seo-yeon is talentless but looking this good in an erotic thriller this boilerplate, they need to be a bit more nuanced in their performances to win our affections. Otherwise, the mind begins to wander and all those tawdry sex scenes that should be heightening the suspense feel as though they're shortchanging us because they never cross over into porn. We don't care if he's cycling out of control with lust. We don't care if she's out to poison her husband (Ahn Nae-sang) to get the insurance money. And if we don't care who might be doublecrossing who, then we haven't got much of a movie. With really just three characters of note (and even fewer locations), Temptation of Eve feels like a play that's been filmed for television. But not PBS. More like Ovation.

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