As we draw to the close of the Asian Pop Up Festival in Chicago, viewers will have the opportunity to witness the exquisitely beautiful work of Park Heung-sik with his newest film LOVE, LIES at the AMC River East on Wednesday, May 3 at 7 pm. The story captures the essence of human nature in its glory and its less desirable traits, specifically jealousy and envy. As two young girls raised together during the Japanese occupation of 1943 create a bond and pact to always stay together, they find that love and life have different plans.
So-yool and Yeon-hee meet as youngsters in a school for girls. They quickly become best of friends relying on and supporting one another until graduation day. As artists, they have a particular role within Korean society—a role not always looked upon favorably. Both girls are extraordinary singers as they have been trained in all the classics. But it is Yeon-hee’s exceptional voice and talent that So-yool’s songwriter boyfriend is drawn to. With success and opportunities, the two girls travel along different paths, each portraying the disappointments and guilt associated with growing up, falling in love, and feeling betrayed.
“Love, Lies” is a testament to the fact that no matter where in the world or when in time we are, love is the same. Relationships, whether they are friendships or love interests, are also experienced the same no matter who we are. “Love, Lies” takes us into the heart and mind of So-yool and Yeon-hee where we are brought into their earnest innocence and the pain of growing up. Watching and feeling the pain brought on by envy and jealousy of not just love, but of another’s success is the ultimate emotional experience.
The cinematography and costuming are equally beautiful to the story as it captures us visually. While the story is one to which we can all relate, the singing talent of these young women is simply breathtaking. Again, music is yet another boundary easily crossed from culture to culture, bringing us closer together.
“Love, Lies” is a cinematically gorgeous film crossing all cultural boundaries with love and music. Skillful performances connect us to these women as they navigate the difficulties of love and growing up.
*Lifetime Achievement Award Night Thursday, May 11, 5:30 pm at the Chicago History Museum (1601 N. Clark St.). Honoree Teddy Robin Kwan will be attending this event.