03. You've Made a Mistake ( Jalmot Bosyeot-dagu ) Lee Bong-rae, 1969
Na-pal is leading a freewheeling life after failing in two marriages; Cha-bun does not like her husband who is not very dedicated to his family because of his business trips abroad; Wol-su is a concubine of the old and rich Mr. Kim, but is dating Gang-cheol, another man. These three women are tired of men who are preying on them. Gap-dol, a business owner who frequently hits on Na-pal, suggests that she take on a job as a manager of a salon, while a young male artist she comes across tries to take advantage of her by asking her to model for his painting. Wol-su wants to leave Mr. Kim for Gang-cheol, and cunningly calls Mr. Kim’s wife to her house. However, the old wife who is sick of her husband tells Wol-su to “take care of Mr. Kim” and leaves the place. Cha-bun, leading a boring life because her husband is always away on foreign business trips, begins to work at the salon with Na-pal. However, Ppa-dda, a Korean-Japanese man who frequents the salon, continues to hit on Cha-bun.
▶ This film is an adaptation of the original novel by Yu Ho, which was gained popularity while it was being serially published in the weekly paper Sunday Seoul. It is by director Lee Bong-rae, who directed family melodramas such as A PETTY MIDDLE MANAGER (1961) and A SALARYMAN (1962). Unlike other family melodramas he directed, however, this work is closer to a sex comedy. The film depicts sex lives of the three women Na-pa, Cha-bun, and Wol-su, while directly revealing its sexual codes. It is refreshing to see the three women trick and prank men who always hit on them, and the film challenges the conventional customs that attempts to subjugate the female sex to the patriarchy. This film has two scenes in which women play the role of Peeping Tom. Considering that the voyeuristic perspectives of men are more prevalent in the cinematic world, such scenes are unique and extraordinary. However, the overturning characteristics of this film does not last, as in the case of many other commercial films: Perhaps due to the restrictions of the old 1960s and the viewpoints of a male director, the female characters end up settling into the mold of the patriarchy in the end.