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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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
2005 Toronto Film Festival report: One more film for today, new one from South Korea, directed by Lee Myung-Es: "Duelist".
"A tale of political intrigue The Duelist is told from the perspective of a group of undercover police officers in historical Korea. Ahn Sung-Ki - one of Korea's most dependable actors who many on these shores will recognize from his part in the stellar Musa: The Warrior - is the wise senior leader of the group, Ha Jiwan the headstrong and fiery tempered Detective Namsoo. When a mysterious masked man scatters bags of counterfeit coins into a crowd at a town fair - nearly triggering a riot - the young female detective sets off in pursuit, engages him in combat and catches a brief glimpse of his true face." Style Style and more style. The Director Lee Myung-Es was there (Must be a big deal back in South Korea as he was swarmed with folks after the screening) and he explained the story original came from a Comic Book. Wish I had known that going in. It is a period piece, with a modern flare. Characters do things not because it makes sense, but to strike a pose. The director did not want to tag this as an action film, but as a 'Melodrama'. Full of color, especially in the early market scenes, I am sure the fans of comic at happy as hell. Does that make it a good movie? Not really. Lee Myung-Es said the film just opened in Korea, with the critics loving it and the audience 50/50 on it. The film took ninety three days to shoot, and I am sure most of that time was spent getting the color scheme right. It's looks wonderful, and he uses Dark shadows to make some beautiful images. All this just doesn't work for me. The attempts at comedy are so over the top and goofy it is hard to take the characters seriously. The "Namsoon" character is just so goofy during the first half of the film I never really bought the romance between her and the "Sad Eyes" character. There are many action scenes, oh sorry, dance scenes, but they never had any real sense of danger for me. If you do not care who is fighting, or why they are fighting, then it comes across as really cold to me. Some will like it, others like me will not. Can not see this playing at all with a North American Audience, so the chances you will see this on the big screen are slim. A better reviewer than I has said on the internet "I think, that director Lee's films are poetry, not prose." Guess this fearless reviewer is not really a poetry kind of guy.
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