In-gu is a full-time gangster aspiring to be a full-time husband and dad. Shunned by his daughter and wife, his only goal is to live a quiet life with his family out in the country. But ... See full summary »
About Nae-kyung who is able to assess the personality, mental state and habits of a person by looking at his face. Because of his abilities, he gets involved in a power struggle between Prince Sooyang and Kim Jong-Seo.
Dae-Ho is an unproductive bank clerk who is late to work every morning and the object of his manager's frustrations. He was a fan of TV wrestling as a child, but can't get out of a headlock... See full summary »
In the port city of Icheon, five female friends struggle to stay close while forging a life for themselves after high school. When one of the group, upwardly-mobile Hae-ju, moves to Seoul, ... See full summary »
A well-meaning but politically naive barber gets pulled into the inner circle of the South Korean dictator Park Chung-Hee, with rather baleful consequences for his hapless family. This sharp political satire covers roughly twenty years in South Korean political history, from the viewpoint of the barber's son.
Of particular interest to Korean history buffs will be the portrayal of Gerneral Park himself. While the film acknowledges the dictator's laid-back charm and understated charisma, it also leaves no doubt about the vicious nature of the repression which he oversaw. The contrast between Park's appealing personal style and the brutal actions of his underlings makes for a useful observation about the dangers of charismatic leadership.
Alternating the action between the presidential residence and a nearby neighborhood, with occasional stops in the torture chambers of the police state and the countryside dwelling of a shamanistic healer, the narrative deftly manages a multi-front satire on Korean society during the middle Cold War period. And though the script is unsparing in its acerbic view of Park and his clique, it generally avoids the smug cheap shots that often blight similar cinematic forays into political satire. Park's ordinary admirers are seen as misguided, sometimes even rascally, but are left with their basic humanity intact and never treated as objects of outright contempt.
General Park's remaining fans(of which there are quite a few, it seems)will probably take issue with the script's omission of any reference to the social and economic advances that took place under his watch. Park haters, on the other hand, might resent the portrayal of this murderous dictator as a soft-spoken and genial family man. Such caveats aside, this film is highly recommended to fans of political satire and anyone with an interest in Korean history.
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