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Frank M. Ahearn,
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The story of a cab driver in Yanji City, a region between North Korea, China and Russia. His wife goes to Korea to earn money, but he doesn't hear from her since in 6 months. He plays mah-jong to make some extra cash, but this only makes his life worse; but then he meets a hitman who proposes to turn his life around by repaying his debt and reuniting with his wife, just for one hit. Written by
It's time to fete our Director Na Hong-jin for making a masterpiece like this. This is about his noir thriller "The Yellow Sea". His second film after a bang like The Chaser. The main success of this movie is for it's fast screenplay and some nail biting chasing scenes. Inspite of its long running time the movie tightly grips us during most of its running time.
Coming to story, The protagonist Goo-nam(Ha Jeong-woo) is a Joseon(Chinese of North Korean descent)is a taxi driver living in Yenji, China. Goo-nam's wife went to South Korea for work to lift their family. She promised that she would send money to him, but there has been no money sent by her, let alone any news from her. Goo-nam really loved her and meanwhile tortured by the possibility of her infidelity in his dream, but that is not his only problem. He has lot of debts including his wife's travel fare. He tries to solve his problem with gambling, but that makes his situation worse.The debt collector often visits and questions his pride.
After his fierce attitude in the gambling bar, Goo-nam is noticed by a local Korean mob boss/dog seller Mr. Myeon(Kim Yoon-seok). Myeon has a plan to solve his problem. If he goes to Seoul and kills somebody, his debt problem will be solved. Giving his daughter in the safe hands(his mother)he agrees to work. Under the instructions from Myeon, he illegally entered South Korea with other Korean Chinese.
He arrives at some coastal area without much problem. He goes into Seoul while not being noticed by the law enforcement. He stays in a lousy motel room. He checks out the place where his target lives. He is clever enough to devise a good plan while spying on the daily pattern of the target during the night. He also goes around Seoul for getting any clues about the whereabouts of his wife. There is not much time left, but he still cannot find her. The time is short, and he must do the job as demanded. It's a now or never situation,the night at the freezing cold Goo-nam anxiously waits for his target to arrive at the building. And then, something unexpected happens in front of his eyes. With an unexpected twist ,He is now chased by both the police and the mobs for what he does not commits. The chasing starts, even we feel sorry for the unfortunate things happening to this inglorious bastard in the merciless world.
The plot shines lightly and it turns out a mob boss in Seoul, Tae- won(Cho Seong-ha), is involved with the incident. After the involvement of police and the media far more than he has ever thought, he becomes panic. He attempts to solve his problem even before knowing what's exactly going on. This is a real critical situation, especially when Myeon comes to South Korea after the problem between him and Tae-won. Now both want Goo-nam in their hand. Reminding the chaser the good guy plays a very bad guy role here. Can't see the rage of fight with the bones. That's really a new route of violence. Thanks to the director the car chasing scene is really a nail biting high tension scene, he makes very impressive actions sequences. The camera is a little too running. And the plot changes in to unexpected twists. Overall it is really a worth watching experience. Can't wait for another movie from Na Hong Jin.
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