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Korean Redemption and Revenge. Sung-gong has always been a target for school bullies. One day, the bullies drag him to the home of a fellow high school girl named Jang-mi where they take turns raping her and forcing Sung-gong to do the same against his wish. Ten years later, Sunggong encounters Jang-mi again at a church, and thereafter he pursues his life seeking her forgiveness without confessing that he was one of offenders. But, when he realizes that Jang-mi is still traumatized, he seeks out the bullies again.Written by
Another one in the long line of Korean revenge dramas, Fatal is an indie gem that's worth seeing if you're into foreign independent cinema. It's definitely worthy of the praise it's getting from professional critics worldwide. It managed to surpass my fairly high expectations and I really hope it will reach a wider audience (right now it seems to be shown only at film festivals, and it's unlikely it will get a wider release).
The film follows Sung-gong, a shy teenager who is forced into rape by a group of school bullies, who call themselves his "friends". This event leaves a devastating emotional impact on Sung-gong that scars him for life. Ten years later, he struggles to go through his daily activities, but everything changes when he meets Jang-mi, a cute girl who also happens to be the rape victim from ten years ago...
Since I'm a huge fan of Asian cinema, this review might seem a bit biased, but I honestly think this is a great film. Although its premise might suggest just another rape/revenge thriller, it's actually much more than that. It's shown from a perspective of one of the culprits and that alone makes it stand out from the crowd, but when you add rich character development, an effective if bleak atmosphere and a couple of truly affecting dramatic scenes, you get something really special.
Don't be fooled by the lower rating on IMDb, it would probably be higher if more people had seen the film. It's daring, original and heartbreaking. It may lack subtlety, style or have a few pacing problems, but overall it leaves an impression that is hard to shake and makes these flaws pale in comparison. The soundtrack is also worth mentioning as it's well timed and memorable.
Recommended to any film lover out there who is not afraid to take a chance with a relatively unknown foreign indie film. If you also happen to like Korean cinema, I say go for it. It'll stick with you for a while.
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