Chunhyang is a movie directed by famous Korean filmmaker Im Kwon-taek (whose following movie was Drunk on Women and Poetry) and released in 2000. It is based on a pansori, a type of traditional Korean performance that involves a storyteller reciting and singing a narrative to the sound of a drum. The movie depicts both the pansori itself being performed, and the story being told.
Mongryong, the son of a newly installed provincial governor, sees the beautiful Chunhyang, the daughter of a former courtesan, and falls in love with her. He arranges to meet her, and to reassure her about the sincerity of his sentiments, agrees to marry her in a secret ceremony. After a period of blissful if clandestine connubial life, Mongryong must leave for Seoul in order to join the ranks of the civil service.
During his absence, a new governor is nominated and claims Chunhyang as a concubine. She refuses, even when jailed and tortured, and is sentenced to be executed. Mongryong, who has in the meantime become a censor in the royal administration, returns in the guise of a beggar, orders the arrest of the governor and sets everything right.
Contains examples of:
- Break the Cutie: Chunhyang's imprisonment and torture.
- Doting Parent: Chunhyang's mother.
- Fourth Date Marriage: Second date, actually.
- The Government: Its status is ambiguous, unsurprisingly for a tale set in a Confucian society. The new governor is depicted as despotic (see below), but the hero can set things right by becoming an agent of the central government.
- Happily Ever After: So the tale ends.
- Love at First Sight
- Show Within a Show: The story within the performance.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: A nobleman's son and a former courtesan's daughter.
- Tyrant Takes the Helm: The new governor is despotic, lecherous and corrupt.