For the past seven years Sun-woo, an impeccably dressed gangster henchman has served his boss with unflinching exactitude. He manages an upscale bar called La Dolce Vita and he despatches people who get in the boss’s way with skill and efficiency. The boss trusts him so much that he asks Sun-woo to look after his mistress, and to kill her if she is being unfaithful. The boss’ suspicions prove to be correct, but in a moment of temporarily compassion Sun-woo lets the young lovers loose and suddenly finds himself at odds with everyone.
A Bittersweet Life is a stylish gangster story from the director of A Tale of Two Sisters. With the same chilly Seoul underworld atmosphere and same brilliant set designer as Old Boy, A Bittersweet Life confirms South Korea as the most interesting film territory of today. Screened in Official Selection Out of Competition in Cannes 2005. Scandinavian theatrical release 2006. —nonstopentertainment.com
Kim Jee-woon, born July 6, 1964, entered Seoul Institute of the Arts, but left school and worked in the theatre scene. He began his career as a stage actor, then stage director, and finally has become one of the most popular and acclaimed figures among modern Korean directors/screenwriters. His second screenplay, The Quiet Family (1998), won him the Best Screenplay prize in a local contest, and Kim went on to make his directorial debut with this screenplay. The film was invited to many film festivals. Kim’s films, from The Quiet Family (1998) to last year’s A Bittersweet Life, have been hailed by critics and audiences alike for his unique style and storytelling. His second feature, The Foul King (2000), drew more than 2 million spectators, while his astounding horror film of true visual elegance, A Tale of Two Sisters (2003), reached 3.5 million viewers nation-wide. It went on to be remade by Dreamworks in the US. —AsianMediaWiki
A disciple asked his master, "Do the leaves flow or is it the wind?" His master replied, "No, it is the heart and the mind."
Una trama semplice con semplici personaggi si trasforma in un grandissimo film grazie a una fotografia eccelsa ed una regia inappuntabile,che si esalta in scene d'azione coreografate e dosate perfettamente.Le citazioni sono numerose e bellissime,la colonna sonora non stona mai e l'epilogo rimane scolpito nella memoria.Riesce a mischiare dramma e azione, poesia e sangue in modo fantastico.Dura trovare un difetto.4*
Splendido: dalla regia perfetta alla fotografia da urlo, di una eleganza e perfezione visiva quasi stupefacenti. Numerosi gli omaggi al pulp, al cinema d'azione coreano e perfino al western nell'ultima straordinaria sparatoria. La storia è semplice ma accattivante, le scene d'azione girate perfettamente e le sparatorie mai fuori posto. Un gioiellino. 4*