Directed by Jung Ji-Woo, Eungyo (2012) is an adult drama based on Park Bum-Shin’s novel of the same name. Although rated ‘G’ for general on Netflix, the film features adult content from the start.
The plot revolves around the elderly college professor Lee Juk-Yo (Park Hae-Il) and his relationship between his care-giver and student Seo Ji-Woo (Kim Moo-Yul) and Eun-Gyo (Kim Go-Eun), a seventeen year-old high school student who is found sleeping in his garden.
A story based on an older man falling in love (or lust) with a minor is not an uncommon one, and the most famous example is arguably Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita. However, Lee Juk-Yo’s understanding that she is too young for him to make a move makes Park Hae-Il’s well played character easier to sympathise with.
Although Kim Go-Eun initially comes across as slightly too child-like for 17, and Park Hae-Il does not look like a seventy year-old man, this is easily overlooked, as the cast perform their roles to a high standard, something which can be somewhat attributed to the scripting of the film. Eungyo never offers any information which isn’t used later. From jokes about the word “OMG”, henna tattoos and the repetitive dialogue about Ji-Woo’s best-selling book The Heart, not a single piece of information isn’t of significance. With a running time of a little over two hours, this lack of empty dialogue is an impressive feat, and keeps a slightly overused concept fresh and enjoyable.
The film is available to stream on Netflix, and you can watch the trailer below!