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Breath (2007) More at IMDbPro »Soom (original title)


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Release Date:
29 April 2007 (South Korea) See more »
Love Can Take Your Breath Away
A love story involving a convicted prisoner who "slowly falls for a woman who decorates his prison cell". | Add synopsis »
1 win & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
A Nutshell Review: Breath See more (11 total) »



Chen Chang ... Jang Jin
In-Hyeong Gang ... Young Cellmate

Jung-woo Ha ... Husband

Ki-duk Kim
Ji-a Park ... Yeon

Directed by
Ki-duk Kim 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Ki-duk Kim 

Produced by
Myong-chul Song .... producer
Youngjoo Suh .... associate producer
Cinematography by
Jong-moo Sung 
Film Editing by
Su-Ahn Wong 
Other crew
John Kaylin .... dubbing producer

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Soom" - South Korea (original title)
See more »
84 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

The license plate number of the couple's car is 5795. Jang Jin's prison number is 5796.See more »


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14 out of 52 people found the following review useful.
A Nutshell Review: Breath, 22 December 2007
Author: DICK STEEL from Singapore

Of the limited number of Korean auteur Kim Ki-duk's movies, I have only seen a handful of them, and mostly they are the relatively contemporary movies, like The Bow, 3-Iron and Time. The feeling I got from them all is consistent - that it's not your usual storytelling, as he seemed more often than not to obscure any intended message, or meaning in his tales, much like searching for an Easter Egg, or worse, that needle in the haystack to get something out of it. If I can summarize his movies in a statement, then it'll be to expect something that's totally unexpected, though not necessary always in a good way.

The main draw here for his 14th film, Breath, is Taiwanese actor Chang Chen. I was curious how Kim would be directing him in one of his movies, and as it turned out, because of the obvious language barrier, it's a convenient cop out to have his death row inmate Jang Jin (even his character's name bears semblance to his own) made a suicide manic, choosing to maim his voicebox so that there isn't a necessity to speak at all. Why he's in jail we're not sure, and in true Kim Ki-duk style, his inmate buddies who share the same cell, are not your ordinary gangster looking characters with big tattoos. While two of them are quite bland, there's an effeminate inmate who has a liking for Jang Jin, but gets time and again brushed aside when he demonstrates and emotes jealousy.

Housewife Yeon (played by Park Ji-ah) discovers that her husband is cheating on her, and given the media attention on Jang Jin and his suicide attempts incessantly hitting the news, she decides to get back at her husband by striking a relationship with him, posing as an ex-girlfriend, and finding therapy in Uncle Jang. But before you say "boring", what made her character a little bit impossible to believe is the lengths she'll go to just to spice up the visitor's session according to seasons, and of course, add some colour, life and song to a meandering dull movie. She does impossible feats of wallpapering, which I thought would be more credible it they weren't so well done.

For half the movie, we see a one way street between Yeon and Jang Jin, she finding an outlet to vent her frustrations, while he finding it amusing to have a total stranger bring forth some fresh air, though artificial, injected into his imprisoned four walls. While there are of course issues of morality here that could be made for points of discussion, by the time the ending rolls around, these are indeed tossed out the window in double quick time. I suspect that 90% of the 10 members of the audience were here because of the tantalizing poster of Chang Chen's mouth on boob (the film has an M18 rating by the way), and it's not rocket science that the ah-peks were probably here for only one thing.

But alas, that, it doesn't deliver, but what it does cement very surely, is that you'll never know what to expect from a Kim Ki-duk film, who becomes his own voyeur as he spies on the duo from the CCTV Cameras fed back to the confines of his security office. Unfortunately, Breath turns out to be a time waster, and you'll find yourself cheering at any moment that could have possibly breathed life into a dull movie. Perhaps art movie lovers out there could find some meaning if they look hard enough, but here, I'm calling out that the Emperor is naked.

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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Breath (2007)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Music/songs in the film? [beach decoration scene] ttrree_ttrree
Autumn song bh4698
Gay cell-mate? cola_bean007
Any word on a DVD yet? codyclarke
what is the classical piece the husband plays on his keyboard? gay_eskimo
sex or nudity lionbello
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