This film sometimes felt like a Bollywood hindi indie production crime-drama
... regarding the darkness. Pitch-black.
Darker than dark and slightly hysterically so. The story takes place
in an alternative world where no human decency
exists and the underworld people are beasts, the gangster world of South
This doesn't sound too good maybe BUT somehow it works. The, mostly,
young actors give their all in enthusiastic
performances and Kim Go-eun and Kim Hye-soo are great in the main roles.
The film is enthralling and with some
sort of strange pulse to it, and has been received
with praise and showered with prize awards.
Kim Hye-soo as the brutal Don ... Ma Woo-hee, Mom
Il-young (Kim Go-eun) is an orphan who has grown up
on the streets (of Seoul?), found by a homeless in a Coin
Locker in the subway. After living with the homeless she's taken by
a shady police detective and sold to a female
crime lord, the nasty loan shark and organ trafficker Mom. She "helps"
people with false passports and identity
cards and gives loans, but with a heavy security if you don't pay up
in time - You loose your body, and that is meant
literally. She takes your organs, cuts you up in her mobile operation
van, where the "friendly" doctor Dr. Ahn (Lee
Dae-yeon, veteran actor seen in dozens of great films) helps her with
the expert cutting.
Il-young has to earn her living working as a street beggar with a bunch
of other derelict children, and they're threatened
by the charming warm Ma that they will be killed when no longer useful
to her, to the Ma Enterprise.
Then there's a jump in time and we get to see the grown up Il-young,
now in her early 20's, working for Ma as an
enforcer and ... maybe also as a killer (we're not sure if she's totally
rotten yet and has killed people not able to pay
their loans, but she probably has). Yes, yipeee, she has survived on
the streets and now she's living with the Family ...
The Family (left to right): Il-young (Kim Go-eun), Woo-gon
(Um Tae-goo), Ma (Kim Hye-soo), Ssong (Lee Soo-
kyung), Dr. Ahn (Lee Dae-yeon) and Hong-joo (Cho Hyun-chul)
Il-young and her "sister" Ssong
.... with her 2 brothers and her sister, orphan kids
raised by Ma just like herself, a family of murderers, but her only
family. One day Il-young is sent to collect some interest from the son
of a debtor, Park Seok-hyun (Park Bo-gum).
He's good looking and a nice good-natured guy, an innocent working in
a restaurant. Will he succeed to reach inside
of the hard-boiled and sociopathic Il-young's armour? Do bears shit
in the woods?
Well, they start to hang out and her dedication to her work for Mom
start to diminish. One day the loan has to be
payed but Park's father, who's fled the country, abandons his son and
when there's some body collecting to be done
Ma sends Il-young to kill the boy. Will she do it? Do bears shit in
the w..... eeh, do bears shit in porcelain toilets?
Let the blood-bath begin.
Kim Go-eun is great and has got some serious talent,
Kim Hye-soo gives a memorable layered performance as a
monster and as a Mom, Park Bo-gum plays a nice innocent guy and slaughter
lamb and i like Ssong too, her sister.
Brutally dark it is, so be warned. Some of the the deleted scenes should've
been left for clarity at the end.
This film were also made, like Alice in Earnestland, by a debut director
and hopefully he's got a promising future.
Anamorphic widescreen 2.35:1, korean audio 5.1 or 2.0 with english subs.
Extras without english subs as usual.
Behind the scenes 33 min, crew/cast featurette 4 min, deleted scenes
15 min, promo footage, trailer/teaser