Interpretation of A Frozen Flower divided by gender + Deleted Scenes
The following is just my personal generalization of the responses based on what I read. Female viewers (particularly the Chinese speaking female viewers) interpret the movie as a tragic love story between two men. The Queen was the third-party that wreak the beautiful relationship between the King and his chief royal guard. Most male viewers, however, are rather disinterested in the homosexual theme of this movie and found the male versus male make-out session "discomforting" to watch. At least that was the reaction of a male friend who watched this movie, an African American male YouTube reviewer, and some male forum commentators. Most guys took the explicit heterosexual stuff as eye candies whereas many females were turned off by the in-your-face sex scenes. Male audience probably view the King as the aggressor and Hong Rim as the victim and could sympathize more with the Hong Rim's betrayal. Hong Rim was purposely groomed to become devoted to the King and against his natural disposition for the opposite sex. In essence, A Frozen Flower is a love story between Hong Rim and the Queen with a tragic King stuck in the middle.
As for me, I share a rather mixed interpretation of the story and do not fall in any of the general categories I described above. I do not see the relationship of Hong Rim and the King as beautiful, but rather psychologically oppressive. Hong Rim, by law and duty as royal guard, must oblige to the King's orders and commands. He was just too naive and given not much of a choice. But I also do not believe A Frozen Flower is a love story between Hong Rim and the Queen. I feel the director, who also happened to be the writer, was trying hard to invoke some sort of twisted dialectic debate about whether homosexuality is genetically inherent or environmentally induced through the character of Hong Rim.
I found the deleted scene video file on my external hard-drive today and thought I should share it with those who are interested.
Deleted Scene #1 Hong Rim and the King on their horseback looking at the panoramic view of the capital
"Let's run away together, Hong Rim"
Deleted Scene #2 Hong Rim practices archery and vice-captain reports about assassin investigation
"Did you hear? The King has already arranged a date for the royal consummation."
Deleted Scene #3 The Queen and Hong Rim in bed together after their first night
"There is a Yuan custom for a young woman to make ssanghwa cake to the first man in her life, but I can't make it for you."
Deleted Scene #3 The Queen and Hong Rim's regular rendezvous at the Military Tactic Library
"Were you frightened when you didn't see me?"
Deleted Scene #4 A drunken King with a continued thirst for violence
"Are the impaled heads placed high enough?"
Deleted Scene #5 Hong Rim forging his sword of revenge
Movie Rant: A Frozen Flower explores homosexuality versus heterosexuality themes