The project is an adaptation of Dutch novel ‘Het Diner’ (“The Dinner”) written by Herman Koch. With the setting transposed to Asia, Hur will peek under the tablecloth to uncover another dirty side to Korean society.
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Two brothers a materially-motivated lawyer, and an idealistic surgeon, meet once a month for dinner. During one such meal the two couples must discuss how to deal with the worst nightmare they have faced as parents, their children’s criminal assault on a vagrant. IN the incongruous fancy setting, the couples must confront their differences in morals, long-harbored secrets and a victim mentality that has been brewing for years.
“Director Hur likes to observe the irony and dilemmas of the people who are confronted with ethical choice,” Ted Jeong Ho Shin, head of production at production company Hive Media, told Variety. “After a recent career path that took in two period dramas 1900’s-set “The Last Princess” (2016) and 15th century-set “Forbidden Dream” (2019), Hur is now back in the present day.”
“The novel is very insightful in examining the duplicity of the modern middle-class family, good and evil, parents’ blind love for their children, as well as human desires and hypocrisy,” says Hur. “I like the suspense that is created when a dinner with luxurious food and cursory conversations transforms into a place full of tension, where the hosts and the guests sling criticism at each other. I hope that audiences enjoy the irony and dilemma facing parents who have to make ethical choices concerning their children’s transgressions.”
With a budget of nearly $7 million, “The Dinner” is one of the most expensive dishes to be served up at Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) this year. Hive, however, is familiar with such levels of cost. Since 2014 it has produced crime drama Inside Men, hard-boiled action thriller Deliver Us from Evil (2020), “The Man Standing Next” (2020) a political drama that was a commercial success and selected as Korea’s Oscar contender, and “Heaven: To the Land of Happiness,” which was part of the 2020 virtual Cannes Film Festival’s official selection.
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