In the DMZ separating North and South Korea, two North Korean soldiers have been killed, supposedly by one South Korean soldier. But the 11 bullets found in the bodies, together with the 5 ... See full summary »
In Seoul, Ryu, a deaf worker has a sister who needs a kidney transplant. He tries to donate his own kidney to his sister, but his blood type is not compatible with hers. When Ryu is fired from Ilshin Electronics, he meets illegal dealers of organs, and the criminals propose that he give them his kidney plus ten millions Won to obtain a kidney suitable for his sister. Ryu accepts the trade, but he does not have money to pay for the surgery. His anarchist revolutionary girlfriend Cha Young-mi convinces him to kidnap Yossun, the daughter of his former employer Park, who owns Ilshin Electronics. However, a tragedy happens, generating revenge and a series of acts of violence.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
After the enormous success of 'Joint Security Area', Park Chan Wook was given "carte blanche" to make whatever film he wanted in Korea. After searching for another "vengence-minded" script with no success, he finished the script he was working on before making 'Joint Security Area'. See more »
In the ransom photo of Yoosun, she is wearing the necklace Ryu made. However, he hadn't given her the necklace when he took the photo, it was later, when he traded the necklace for her doll. See more »
The bad image kidnappers get is because of kids getting killed. But we're different. Give us the money and we'll return the kid pronto.
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The title card of the film is shown in both Korean and English. See more »
There aren't to many times when credits roll on a film and I want to immediately start watching it through again. This is one of the rare exceptions.
Visually stunning with artistic merit to almost every shot. Deliberate frame composition with the eye of a classical painter married to lighting that underscores the narrative with sublime control. The shots alternate between tight intimate shots with strong angles that elude to POV and deep staged shots in full focus throughout that nearly ride the axis like looking down the barrel of a rifle into the deepest darkest corners of our characters' lives.
The light and textures on screen are lush and rich and the focus generally deep like Seven or Silence of the Lambs. Solid DOP, solid Cinematographer, solid Production Designer, Solid Art Director, across the board this film stands up as tight, smart, unexpected, sometimes abusive and always engaging like a car wreck in all the charmed ways.
Dialogue, though minimal, is always apt and loaded. Sign language feels like Tai Chi, delicate here, fierce there, somehow clear I believe even without subtitles.
This gem is deliciously horrific, a complete study of tragedy and of theater grotesque. Like Scarface the film is laden with stomach clenching non-gratuitous gore which is somehow infinitely more disturbing.
The driving narrative is about vengeance, layer upon layer, constantly underscored by social commentary both direct and sub-textual addressing inequities, rights, justice and the cruelty / fairness of commerce, fate and basic karma.
Well crafted, well delivered, well done. Excellent. And absolutely NOT for people with weak gullets, true that.
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