Working for loan sharks, a cruel man (Lee Jung-Jin) gets money from debtors one way or the other. One day, a woman (Jo Min-Su) appears in front of him, apologizing for throwing him away and insisting that she is his mother.
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The lengths one may go to to seek justice or revenge in the name of what they think is right may ultimately turn them into the same thing they're fighting against. The mother is no saint; very few characters in this film are redeemable. Yet, you feel bad for every one of them. The ugly realities of power without conscience, and the twisted logic of the weak during desperate times blanket a story about lost childhood.
With multiple levels of "effed-up-ness", South Korean cinema continues to redefine the "revenge" genre on a whole new level. A plot so intense, you'll end up convincing your friends that it's indeed a real film that they have to see for themselves to believe.
An indictment of an emotionally crippled society and the physical and psychological violence inherent therein. Can one pursue revenge without becoming complicit in the very same violence? Humans behave cruelly, but can they ever truly shed their humanity?
Incredibile come alcune persone si siano lamentate di questo film per via della lentezza e della poca azione. Il film respira, vive e insieme a lui anche gli spettatori più attenti, il film è uno specchio di una società tumorale che comunque continua a vivere. Si vede e si apprezza la componente orientale e il bene e il male vivono e sopravvivono insieme. Film incredibile.
Ayant regardé ses deux autres films, j'ai l'impression que Kim Ki-Duk s'excelle plus dans visuel poétique utilisant des dialogues le moins possible. Je trouve qu'il n'a pas mis autant d'effort à celui-ci.
The only movie I have ever walked out of. I found the rape scene intensely disturbing, so much so that it cast an unshakable shadow over the following scenes. It was purely for some sadistic voyeuristic experience for which I have never pined, rendering it inessential to the storyline. An utter disappointment.
Despite making one hundred minutes feel like a lifetime, this restrained revenge film is quite good. Tortured characters, minimal sets, and simple cinematography make for a formally straightforward but emotionally devastating viewing. Definitely recommended viewing for fans of the director, but certainly not a standard Korean "revenge film" by any stretch.