Jealousy Is My Middle Name
Jiltoo-neun na-e him
Jealousy Is My Middle Name won the prize for the best début at the film festival of Pusan in its home country South Korea. Park Chan-Ok's film is a complex and subtle drama of relationships that looks as if it was made by a much more experienced director.After his girlfriend has chucked him, the shy Won-Sang (27) applies for a humble job with a magazine, all too well aware that the editor-in-chief, a charming man of the world, is the one who stole his girlfriend - and also chucked her pretty quick. It looks as if Won-Sang wants revenge. But strangely enough, he seems to get on well with his boss, even when he also takes over Won-Sang's new lover, a butch photographer/veterinary surgeon. With the growing rapprochement between the two men, Park Chan-Ok creates a strange kind of suspense. Both characters seem to deserve sympathy. Maybe they are more like each other than they realise.Park's talent mainly manifests itself in the dialogues written with great humanity and undercooled, subtle humour, the calm cutting and the beautiful camerawork. The leading roles are played subtly by several of Korea's best actors. One of its greatest achievements is that the film manages to stay in the middle ground between a revenge thriller and a subtle character study for a long time.