6.8/10
46
3 user 1 critic

If I Had a Heart (2013)

A neon-noir set in the underbelly of Seoul. Sam IL is a street fighter who was abandoned at birth by his Mother in a coin locker . His life has been one of extreme violence and isolation. ... See full summary »

Directors:

Simon Halsall, Matt Halsall (co-director) (as Matthew Halsall)

Writers:

Matt Halsall (co-writer) (as Matthew Halsall), Simon Halsall (co-writer)

Star:

Min-Jung Kim
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Cast

Credited cast:
Min-Jung Kim Min-Jung Kim ... Sam IL
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Storyline

A neon-noir set in the underbelly of Seoul. Sam IL is a street fighter who was abandoned at birth by his Mother in a coin locker . His life has been one of extreme violence and isolation. After a brutal near death experience Sam IL is forced to contemplate his past whilst accepting the non-existence of his future. His path to revenge is an acceptance of death that offers no salvation or redemption. Written by Anonymous

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Effectively stylish delivery of a mini-revenge film in the S. Korean style, with the focus on bleak nothingness and death
23 February 2014 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Sam Il was abandoned in a train station locker as a baby, with just a note from his mother with bleak truths about life. His life has been a void and with nothing to live for he drives forward relentlessly into the underground world of brutal bare-knuckle pit fighting.

There is a plot here but as it is a short film it is very condensed and really we spend the first half of the film setting up the character, since it is very much about him and not just what ultimately happens in the film (although the two are impossible to separate). What we get with this short is a mini-version of the violently bleak revenge movies which are a well-known part of South Korean cinema. Although this short is directed by two British brothers, they have captured the bleakness and neo-noir qualities of the films very well, although it is possible to say that they do not bring any personal baggage to the revenge and death themes but are rather spraying on a surface. This is sort of the case but the aesthetics run deep and the neon lit nilihism and bleakness is through the look, the soundtrack, the characters and the lives here and it works.

The cinematography is mostly good although it is visually very dark indeed, which is fine but sometimes the focal points could have done with more clarity – although in fairness I watched it the first time in a well-lit room, it was better when watched in a dark room. It is all about the style and on this level it works very well indeed, with a bleak character matching the tone and making for a compelling story because of just how noir and headed to nothingness it all is.


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Details

Country:

South Korea

Language:

Korean

Release Date:

June 2013 (UK) See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000 (estimated)
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