Friday, December 09, 2005

Dalkomhan insaeng (A Bittersweet Life)

Bloody hell.

Dalkomhan insaeng (A Bittersweet Life)

Starring Lee Byung-hun (Joint Security Area) / Sin Min-ah (Volcano High)
Director Kim Jee-won (A Tale of Two Sisters, The Quiet Family)

An assassin and the boss’s luminous mistress. Like oxygen to a flame, the result is predictable combustion. Surprising and consuming. And as an action movie, this one cauterizes, fueled by feral rage. Sun Woo’s (Byung-hun) frantic punches and swings, fighting of twenty men in an abandoned warehouse, is epic. The camera shudders with every blood splatter. Insides lurch when rusty nails connect, digging too deeply in the ankle. Yet the movie keeps us guessing, all this for what? Sun Woo keeps emotions simmering; a trained killer precise as shattered glass yet awkward. Adolescent shy. The first few glances at Hee Soo (Min-ah) were fleeting. Her feet. Her neck. The lock of hair she tucks behind her ear. And the casual smile that makes everything worthwhile. It’s the small things that drive us crazy, really. Those uncalculated long last looks that make A Bittersweet Life great. *****

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