We had the opportunity to watch many great films at the Busan International Film Festival. We have decided to release a new film review once a day, so make sure to keep checking back with us and see what film we are talking about!
- Was presented as a Gala Presentation at the Busan International Film Festival.
- Adapted from a novel by Kwon Ji-ye.
We are introduced to three characters: B (Jang Hyeok-jin), a man who is obsessed with one woman, named E (Lee Min-a), but is already married to another, who is named D (Kim Na-mi). B and E meet on the subway one fateful day and had a blissful romance which lasted a year. However, their relationship is but an affair, as E is tied down in a loveless marriage. She reveals to B that she only started seeing him because she wanted to have some fun in her boring life. She walks out on B, leaving him depressed and lost.
One of the only mementos he has left of her is a bed that they picked out together. She warns him to get rid of it, but he refuses, as he doesn’t want to let go.
D, a divorcee with a child, is introduced to B by a mutual friend. Things are awkward and quiet on their first meeting, but D is looking for a stable relationship to raise her family, so she puts up with B’s cold and depressed persona. Shortly after they first meet, they marry and she moves in.
They share many memories on the bed. However, B realizes that he can never let E go, so he obsessively tries to win her back. How will this obsession affect his marriage with D? How will this cruel love triangle end up?
The Good, The Bad, and The Surprising
“Life begins and ends on the bed”.
Those are the first words that are introduced to the audience. As the phrase hints, the bed is the center of the film’s attention. Humans do most of their primal functions on the bed, such as eating, sleeping, and having sex.
And that’s exactly what the main attraction of the film is.
Veteran director Park Chul-soo, who has helmed films since the 70’s, has pushed the envelope by having his actors perform in the nude for extended periods of time. The sex scenes, though very hot, are long and enduring. Hell, there are almost as many sex scenes in a normal pornographic flick, and sometimes the performances don’t even seem simulated at times. However, these steamy scenes do very little to enhance the story.
For a character-driven story, the characters are rather uninteresting, and overall depressing. B is obsessed with E, and when he is with her it’s the only time he seems alive. Otherwise, he has a very droopy expression on his face that somehow wins over D, who is willing to settle with any depressed soul so long as they can provide stability at home. E comes off as a heartless vixen who is just looking for fun, cheating on her rich husband who is so exhausted from work that he has no time to spend with her.
I’d have to say that the one saving grace for this film is the interesting portrayal of the human psyche, particularly the extremities of obsession. B is so obsessed with E that he can’t help but see her face whenever he is in bed with D. Also, when any memento of E’s, including the bed, is in danger of being thrown out or damaged, B springs to life from his usual stupefied expression.
The world of Korean cinema is no stranger to risqué films that spark controversy, like last year’s Red Vacance Black Wedding (which also directed by Park Chul-soo), but B·E·D takes the cake. Viewers will really wonder if all the sex scenes were really necessary for the film. Regardless, B·E·D leaves more to be desired (and something to make us feel less miserable after watching).
Watch this film if…
…you want to see sex scenes with acting in between.