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Duelist (2005)
"Hyeongsa" (original title)

6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 1,074 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 30 critic

Set years ago in the era of the Joseon Dynasty, the story follows a young police officer named Namsoon (Ha Ji-won) who, along with her fellow officers, discovers a counterfeit ring ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Sung-kee Ahn ...
Detective Ahn
Dong-won Kang ...
Young-chang Song ...
Minister of Defence
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bo-yeon Kim
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Storyline

Set years ago in the era of the Joseon Dynasty, the story follows a young police officer named Namsoon (Ha Ji-won) who, along with her fellow officers, discovers a counterfeit ring operating out of the area they've been assigned to protect. However, as the criminals aren't just printing up their own money, they also plan to use it to topple the economy and take down the government. As her investigative work continues, Namsoon soon makes the acquaintance of a young man known only as Sad Eyes (Gang Dong-won), for the way that he looks out at you from underneath his hair - he doesn't say much, but he's got that look and that's all it takes to pique Namsoon's interest in him, even if she shouldn't be thinking those thoughts about someone she might have to toss in jail. Of course, Namsoon can't deny her feelings even if the object of her affection belongs behind bars, and it's not long before she's starting to act on her emotions. Written by unicron!

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

martial arts | See All (1) »

Genres:

Action | Mystery

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 September 2005 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

Duelist  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(uncut) |

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Heavy metal w/ a touch of tender piano.
17 June 2006 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

You're probably wondering what the heck my title means.

There's a memorable scene where the soundtrack features a hard rock thrash song and a quiet piano sonata ...playing simultaneously! How the audio engineer pulled this off without it sounding like a train wreck is beyond me. But you can distinctly make out the two clashing pieces of music.

The whole movie is much like this phenomenon. First of all, it boldly crosses the line between "art house" and "martial arts flick". If you're looking exclusively for either, you'll be disappointed. But if you're sharp enough to follow the jumps, you'll love this picture.

Almost every other reviewer has criticized the plot for being too thin. I think they're missing the point. The classic Japanese film SEVEN SAMURAI can also be said to have a weak plot, if you're get right down to it. But the point is not to look for an intricate Alfred Hitchcock weave; the point is to enjoy how expertly the visuals can bring a fairy tale to life. And this is a great fairy tale, at times leaving you wondering what is a dream and what is real.

And then suddenly you're holding your sides because you're laughing so hard at the comic routines. Like I said, this film mixes it all. You gotta be quick to keep up.

Visually, I can't praise this film enough. Vivid colours, smooth camera motion, graceful movements (to the point where a mob scene looks choreographed) and gorgeous sets give this movie a fantasy quality that few directors have been able to achieve. And the computer animation (if even there was much at all) was not noticeable, unlike a lot of modern films that use CGI for everything. Instead, the director uses very creative lighting and shadows to accentuate the swordplay. At times it looks like a Star Wars light sabre duel, but so realistic.

Enjoy this film for what it is. Expect nothing, drop all preconceived notions, and I guarantee you'll have a great time.

Oh, I also thought I'd mention... no nudity or gratuitous sex, no blood splattered across the screen, no animal cruelty. Fun for everyone.


16 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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What happens at the end halifat_lili
if you want narrative or genre film, this is not for you. meowmeow70
Ha Ji Won praise73
Im not satisfied of it mavruda1977
TIFF Screening dj_sam_r_i
San Francisco screening, Feb. 7-12 audreytmv
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