Mai Ratima

Mai Ratima (Korean마이 라띠마; RRMa-i Rattima) is a 2013 South Korean film that portrays the unlikely love affair of a Korean man in his 30s living on the bottom rung of society and a mail-order bride from Thailand in her 20s.[1]

Mai Ratima
Mai Ratima poster.jpg
Hangul마이 라띠마
Revised RomanizationMa-i Rattima
McCune–ReischauerMai Rattima
Directed byYoo Ji-tae
Produced byHong Yeon-jeong
Song Kwang-ik
Written byIm Sun-ae
Yoo Ji-tae
StarringBae Soo-bin
Park Ji-soo
So Yoo-jin
Music byJo Yeong-wook
CinematographyLee Jung-bae
Jang Won-wook
Edited byMoon In-dae
Yoo Movie
Distributed byLotte Entertainment
Release date
Running time
123 minutes
CountrySouth Korea

It is actor-director Yoo Ji-tae's first feature film.[2][3] Yoo emphasizes the discrimination against the ever-increasing number of Southeast Asian women who come to Korea for prearranged marriages, saying he wanted to "portray seemingly insurmountable obstacles facing people who desire to make a difference and beat the odds," and delve into "the pain, desire and deficiency that love bears."[4][5]

The film won the Jury Prize ("Lotus du Jury") at the 2013 Deauville Asian Film Festival. It was praised by Deauville's jury president, Jérôme Clément for its sensitive handling and Yoo's keen insight as director. Clément said, "It's astonishing that this is his first feature film. This award is presented with the hopes that this film will have a chance to be seen widely by film fans worldwide."[6][7][8]

Mai Ratima was released in theaters on June 6, 2013.[9]


To support her sister and Alzheimer's-afflicted mother back in Thailand, Mai Ratima (Park Ji-soo) enters into an arranged marriage with mentally challenged Sang-pil (Lee Jun-hyuk). Stuck in the drab seaside town of Pohang, she endures the daily harangues of her mother-in-law and sexual harassment by her brother-in-law Sang-rim (Kim Kyung).

Mai's woes are exacerbated when her visa renewal comes up, but she narrowly escapes deportation thanks to the spur-of-the-moment kindness of Soo-young (Bae Soo-bin), a social outcast who can't even afford to renew his national ID. They run off to Seoul and inevitably drift into a relationship, but their happiness doesn't last long as Soo-young becomes entangled with bar hostess Young-jin (So Yoo-jin). The corruption and callousness of the big city leave them bruised and jaded.[10][11][12]



Yoo Ji-tae wrote the synopsis while still at college but it would be another 15 years before the project was finally turned into a movie. Prior to his feature film debut, Yoo proved his potential as a director after having helmed several short films (such as Out of My Intention), which were all highly critically praised.[4]

Initially titled A Boy Dreams of Sansevieria, filming began in Gyeonggi Province on January 26, 2012.[13][14] It premiered at the 17th Busan International Film Festival on October 5, 2012.[15]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Recipient Result
2013 15th Deauville Asian Film Festival Jury Prize Mai Ratima Won
34th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best New Actress Park Ji-soo Won
2014 19th Chunsa Film Art Awards Best New Director Yoo Ji-tae Nominated
1st Wildflower Film Awards Best Actress Park Ji-soo Nominated
Best New Actor/Actress Park Ji-soo Nominated
50th Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actress Park Ji-soo Nominated


  1. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (7 June 2013). "Mai Ratima tackles the challenges of a multicultural Korea". Korea JoongAng Daily. Archived from the original on 20 June 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  2. ^ Ji, Yong-jin (5 October 2012). "The Reality We Must Face Now: YOO Ji-tae, Director of Mai Ratima". Korean Cinema Today. Retrieved 2012-12-07.
  3. ^ Ji, Yong-jin (19 June 2013). "Director YOO Ji-tae and Actor BAE Soo-bin of MAI RATIMA: Cooperation Between Friendly Colleagues". Korean Cinema Today. Retrieved 2013-06-30.
  4. ^ a b "Yoo Ji-tae Shines Light on Mail-Order Brides at Helm of First Feature". The Chosun Ilbo. 15 October 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
  5. ^ Park, Eun-jee (16 November 2012). "Korean actors find satisfaction off-camera". Korea JoongAng Daily. Archived from the original on 27 February 2013. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
  6. ^ Lee, Claire (10 March 2013). "Yoo Ji-tae wins Jury Prize at Deauville Asian Film Fest". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2013-03-10.
  7. ^ Conran, Pierce (12 March 2013). "MAI RATIMA Awarded Jury Prize at Deauville Asian Film Festival". Korean Film Council. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
  8. ^ "Actor-Turned-Director Yoo Ji-tae Wins Jury Prize in Deauville". The Chosun Ilbo. 11 March 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
  9. ^ Lee, Sun-min (28 May 2013). "Yoo Ji-tae directed Mai Ratima to open in June". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  10. ^ "Mai Ratima". Asian Cinema Fund. Retrieved 2012-09-25.
  11. ^ Lee, Maggie (7 October 2012). "Mai Ratima". Variety. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
  12. ^ Bechervaise, Jason (5 October 2012). "Mai Ratima". Screen International. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
  13. ^ "Oldboy Villain Yoo Ji-tae to Direct First Feature". The Chosun Ilbo. 9 November 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
  14. ^ Kim, Jessica (30 January 2012). "Yoo Ji-tae first feature cranks in". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
  15. ^ Jeon, Chanil. "Mai Ratima". Busan International Film Festival. Retrieved 2012-09-25.

External linksEdit