Jae-Young is an amateur prostitute who sleeps with men while her best friend Yeo-Jin "manages" her, fixing dates, taking care of the money and making sure the coast is clear. When Jae-Young... See full summary »
On a fishing boat at sea, a 60-year old man has been raising a girl since she was a baby. It is agreed that they will get married on her 17th birthday, and she is 16 now. They live a quiet and secluded life, renting the boat to day fishermen and practicing strange divination rites. Their life changes when a teenage student comes aboard...
In busy downtown Seoul, a thuggish young man notices a fresh-faced college student who sits on a bench. He stares then sits next to her. She looks at him as if he's vermin, rises and walks ... See full summary »
Mute Hee-Jin is working as a clerk in a fishing resort in the Korean wilderness; selling baits, food and occasionally her body to the fishing tourists. One day she falls in love to ... See full summary »
One variation to the very familiar theme of Vengeance, Korean Style
I have to admit I like films by Kim Ki-duk, the first from him that I saw being "Spring, Summer, ....", which got me hook to his works. Pieta has his signature all over it. However, in his attempt to shock and entice his audience with a very unlikely and yet twisted plot, he went astray. A city in Korea was painted as totally lawless, with thugs breaking people's arms at will and getting away with it. Loan sharks were above the law and charged exorbitant fees and, in the event the borrower could not pay up, resorted to having an enforcer break limbs for insurance money. And the police was never in sight or called for.
To sit through this film you have to endure scenes of rape, torture, incest, and implied gore. You do need a fairly good stomach to put up with these parts of the story. In the end, it is all about vengeance, a theme exploited heavily by Korean directors in the past decade.
Kim could have made a better film had he not been obsessed with shocking the audience. Tone the film down a little, make it a bit more credible, and we could have a film that we can believe in, and characters that we can sympathize with. As is, it is too surreal, grotesque and falls into the category of style over substance.
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