Frozen Flower is a movie I had been on the look out for since last year mostly because I am a fan of Joo Jinmo and Song Jihyo and I thought they would look smashing together on screen. I had never seen Jo Insung act before, so he wasn’t really a pulling factor. I knew it came out in the winter last year and finally last week I got to watch the movie. As I was downloading the movie, I went to check out the discussions going on about this movie. The overwhelming majority of the comments talk about the plentiful sex scenes between SJH and JIS and the debate whether or not Hongrim, JIS’s character, loves the King (JJM, that is) or the Queen (SJH).
A little bit summary of the movie: The current King has been grooming an army of hugely talented young men as his personal defenders. These men have been devoting their lives to the palace since they were still mere boys. The leader of this army, Hongrim, happens to be the King’s lover. While the King has a beautiful Queen and more mistress, he has no apetite for women, his taste lies in men, or only Hongrim to be exact. However, due to power struggle, King needs to make an heir soon. He entrusts the job of impregnating the Queen to Hongrim, so off they romp. Queen and Hongrim, whose relationship always had a little animosity between them, become sex buddies and progress to become lovers themselves. The King finds out and he is beyond enraged.
Upon reading these comments, I got unabashedly curious about the sex scenes. Finished downloading the first part, I fast forwarded to see what the fuss was all about. True enough, the movie had a lot of romping. Starting again from the beginning, I was just intending to see the whole first part before hitting the bed since it was pretty late.
Surprisingly, I finished the first part, and instead, went to watch the second part. The movie was beautifully paced and had compelling flow to the story. I finished the whole thing that night and went to sleep at like 4am or something.
(Too bad there wasn’t any happy moment between the three like in the above)
Like I said, the pace was great. I’m not a big fan of period work, movies or dramas, because often it is long and rather draggy. I watched Duelist and Hwang Jini and was bored to death. Even if they were good movies, my attention span can barely stand something that is not remotely interesting. Frozen Flower, thankfully, was. The King and Hongrim’s relationship is established early on, so we get a sense just how important Hongrim is to the King, and vice versa. A brief scene in the beginning also clued us in to the fact that the Queen isn’t exactly fond of Hongrim, the man who steals her husband, and sleeps in his bed at night. But then, with many occasions of swapping of biological fluid, their chemistry starts to go off and what was hate turned into love. The buildup of the King’s rage is also well portrayed. His growing uneasiness, seeing Queen and Hongrim fucked with actual passion during the mating sessions, his suspicions at Hongrim who now has an occurring disappearing acts, and finally his blinding fury and pain upon finding out and seeing with his own eyes the Queen and Hongrim having sex outside of the mating schedule.
Acting is very good, imo. Joo Jinmo is a bundle of sex appeal and charisma. For me personally, he is one of the sexiest actors in Korea. This is why when I heard he was going to play a homosexual character, I was immediately intrigued, curious to see if he can really pull that off. Of course I don’t know if JJM himself is secretly gay or not, but let’s assume he’s straight. He pulled the King off brilliantly. Throughout the movie, I was convinced that the King is averse to women, he really only has eyes for Hongrim. He looks at Hongrim with an open affection, longing for him to return to his side, and the pain and anger at his bertrayal, his constant forgiving nature only for Hongrim, JJM was mesmerizing. This is not to say that Song Jihyo and Jo Insung did nothing, they were great too, but JJM runs the movie, he just owns it.
The way the ending is executed is excellent, but the ending itself is really blah. This is one of the reasons why I’m not a fan of period work. Death is used way too liberally as an end point of the story that the meaning is now lost. I understand that in the old times, battling for lives is a common thing but because it’s been used so many freaking times, I just don’t feel the supposedly huge impact anymore. I was almost hoping that Frozen Flower would deviate from that route and instead opted for an out of place happy ending, or as happy as it can be. I enjoyed the entire movie, up until the ending. Overkill.
The argument that there are too many sex scenes is actually valid. Not in a sense of modesty or anything, but because there are too many sex scenes between Queen and Hongrim, their love is not very convincing. Lust IS very convincing on their part, but love is yet to be seen. There are very few scenes of Hongrim and Queen alone and NOT screwing. I wish they had spent more time building this aspect of Queen and Hongrim instead of throwing them to fuck like bunnies every chance they get.
Overall, I’d say it’s a 78%.