Korean Movie Review Chihwaseon (Painted Fire) – 2002

painted fire

For those of you who didn’t already know, I’ve had very sporadic internet access over the last two weeks so I’ve been unable to marathon watch Kdramas the way I like to. This week I was in serious withdrawal, so I went to the library and picked up some manga to read as well as a couple of Korean movies. I desperately wanted to watch something in Korean. The Korean movie section at the library was very small and they only had older movies. I was able to find the one I’m about the review, Chihwaseon (Painted Fire), a 2002 Biopic and another movie which I will review shortly.


Synopsis: This is a Biopic and the life of Jang Seung-up (played by Choi Min-Sik). He was a nineteenth-century Korean painter who helped bring Korean art into a new direction. He was a self taught artist who often struggled with other people’s expectations of him. Through his life he discovers his own style and truly captures the essence of beauty through his paintings.


This is a very artistic movie and has beautiful cinematic scenes. If you are interested in art and history, I would say it’s worth checking out. I love art, so I did find it interesting. It’s also very fascinating to step into the mind of an artist – which is how this movie made me feel. The art in this movie was really beautiful. I enjoyed watching him paint. Every brush stroke had so much intention and not a single stroke was ever wasted.


The pace of this movie is different. It’s kind of choppy, but still flows fairly well at the same time. There’s no real climax, as you might get with most movies, so some people might lose interest. What is captivating about this movie though, is the artist himself. This actor was really great. I couldn’t help but laugh at times because he was so spontaneous and had quite the temper. He also really liked women. I lost count of how many women he was with. There are some very sexy scenes in this. This movie also contains a fair amount of nudity. I actually laughed, because the cover makes the movie look like a love story, but in fact the scene from the cover is very provocative and not really romantic.

My rating: 3.5/5

painted fire

8 thoughts on “Korean Movie Review Chihwaseon (Painted Fire) – 2002

  1. You said, “I couldn’t help but laugh at times because he was so spontaneous and had quite the temper. He also really liked women. I lost count of how many women he was with.” That sounds like some of the stuff I’ve read about Pablo Picasso!

    Were there any actors/acresses we K-drama fans would recognize in this film?


    1. I recognized Son Ye-Jin, the lead actress from Personal Taste, but she has more of a secondary role. Oh, there was another actress I recognized, but I can’t figure out what I’ve seen her in.


  2. Yay another brilliant review^^ Again, I’ve never seen this movie before but from your description. It reminds me of Painter of The Wind which is also about ancient Korean Artists.


      1. Painter of the Wind is actually a drama and there is still a gender-bender element to it. It is light hearted but serious at the same time so I really enjoyed it


    1. Thanks Drama Fan! Now that I’ve posted I’m going to go sit and watch Midas. I need to watch Jang Hyuk so I can write reviews about his work 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s