Seen in Jeonju

Vanishing Twin <2000>

7th October 2012

Vanishing Twin <2000>– Directed by Yoon Tae-yong. Starring Ji Soo-won <as Yoo-jin>, Ku Pil-woo <as Art Lover> and Kim Myeng-s00 <as Jin-ho>.  Running Time: 94 minutes. Release date: September 23, 2000.


While everyone else is enjoying the Busan Film Festival, I decided to take what little free time I had this weekend and watch a couple of DVDs that I hadn’t gotten to before. The first was Iri from 2006, but I was so disappointed with that film that I decided to put off writing about it. The other film I watched was Vanishing Twin, which was also a bad choice..but not as bad as Iri.. Maybe I will write about that film later on but I have already mercifully forgotten most of it so it will have to wait until I can view it again..and that won’t be for a while. 

Vanishing Twin starts off with an interesting premise. Yoo-jin has been having nightmares recently involving a younger version of herself, the greenhouse their mother kept, a mewing cat and her sister..apparently hanged by an umbilical cord.  When she awakes, Yoo-jin is reminded that her sister, Seung-jin, is coming from the USA for a visit and this triggers memories of their childhood together. The pretty Seung-jin, an artist, and had asked Yoo-jin to pose nude so she could sketch her and Yoo-jin readily agreed. It was hard to say no to her charasmatic sister. However, Yoo-jin’s brother-in-law, Jin-ho, arrives at Yoo-jin’s house alone and announces that Seung-jin is dead. Needless to say, Yoo-jin is shocked and this leads her to look into her sister’s life but, along the way, Yoo-jin learns more about herself and dredges up memories and feelings that she had apparently surpressed over the years.

One set of these memories and feelings revolves around Jin-ho. Through his dreams, we learn that Seung-jin had hung herself. However, although he is in mourning, Jin-ho does not hesitate to express his feelings for Yoo-jin in an awkward moment where Yoo-jin is caught trying on her dead sister’s clothes. Jin-ho nearly forces himself on the startled Yoo-jin who flees the house and returns to her own home. Shortly thereafter, her friend is telling a Native American myth in exactly the same way that her sister used to tell it. She learns that her friend heard it from a man identified by his cyber ID of ‘Art Lover.’  Yoo-jin logs onto the chat room that she is told Art Lover frequents and introduces herself to him arranging a time and place for the two of them to meet so she can learn more about Seung-jin’s life.  Art Lover plays coy with the information but their meeting is made more insteresting when police interrupt and attempt to arrest the mysterious man. The pair escape and hide in an abandoned warehouse in a run down part of town. The close quarters of their hiding place leads Yoo-jin in the following to days to fantasize about what could have happened instead of the reality where they parted ways.

370It is not long before the two meet again and Yoo-jin tries to force the information out of him. There is definitely sexual tension underscoring their relationship, however Yoo-jin fails to get anything more than a glass of wine and a cookie out of the meeting. On her way home, she witnesses her husband arguing with a woman who is revealed in the course of the conversation to be his mistress. When she confronts him with this, he becomes furious and calls her a hypocrite.  Although he is completely unaware of Art Lover, he pulls from the past and mentions how much Jin-ho is in love with her. Denying it at first, Yoo-jin later remembers a time when she and Jin-ho had sex in her mother’s greenhouse. Yes, it was before she was married..but her sister was engaged to Jin-ho at the time and, to make matters worse, Yoo-jin knows that her sister was watching at the time and looks right at her during intercourse. Realizing this about herself frees Yoo-jin of the constraits she had placed upon herself. She sleeps with Art Lover in her store, leaving Jin-ho outside the locked door waiting for the appointment he had with her. She now feels nothing but disdain for her husband and the future of their marriage does not look good, nor does her relationship with her brother-in-law. It also does not seem as if she will be meeting Art Lover again. Instead, Yoo-jin has awakened as an independent, sexual being free to love as she wishes.

Well.. that is as much meaning as I could ascribe to the film. In actuality, the screenplay seems little more than a ninety minute excuse to build up to the sex scene between the two leads..with several minor sex scenes thrown in.  Th title Vanishing Twin, which is from the medical phenomenon where one fetus in a pair of twins disappears in the first trimester of pregnancy–either reabsorbed, miscarried or absorbed by the stronger twin,  is probably the best way to describe what happens to the story of Seung-jin as her sister’s self-discovery gradually, but completely comes to dominate the film. Everyone forgets about Seung-jin…

Vanishing Twin is available on DVD. My copy is from CineLine and does not contain English subtitles..but that is not a big loss. I cannot recommend this movie at all.

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