Gangster Soon-Hong’s life is a cycle of violence and self-loathing. When he meets schoolgirl Han Yeon-Heui, he not only meets his match, but his possible salvation. Is his lifestyle one he can transcend?
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More impressive than the great cinematography and sound and across-the-board strong acting was the fact that somehow, over the course of the film, the parade of tired genre cliches stopped seeming like tired genre cliches at all. Really well done.
though there is the commonly seen "Korean gangster seeking redemption" plotline in this film, the plot enters cultural criticism with this idea of a cycle - a cycle of broken families breaking and upholding one another, and these families transcending through multiple generations, with a more specific cycle of reasserting masculinity over others to make up for the past.
at first it all started as a movie portraying violence and the void associated with it. but as the picture moved on it became obvious it's not only about swearing and showing domestic violence. it's more about hope that someday it all will be over. honestly, i felt sorry for the main character when he got beaten himself, though i was aware he's paying for his own sins. and despite the ending, i still can see hope.
I was expecting some excellent stuff from South Korea and that's what Breathless offers. Everything's focused on the characters, theirs relationships and the scenario all of these being amazing. The antihero thing seems to never get old.
A really harsh movie full of fights and blasphemy, however still has humour and drama inside. Causes and effects of violance have been investigated in all parts of the movie.. Direction and act of Yang Ik-Joon is really impressive..