The debut that marked the arrival of a modern master, Barking Dogs Never Bite is critically acclaimed director Bong Joon-ho’s (The Host) snappy black comedy about a downtrodden young man who’s being assailed by both man and beast.
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A wonderful dark slice of absurdism. File it next to The Tenant, only it's better—a Kafkaesque fish tank that all its misfits (frustrated at best, destitute at worst) can swim around in. Unlike Bong's later films, it isn't so easily associated with a genre, thus allowing his view of institutional dysfunction and demented human foibles to carry the show. A strong start.
Bong affirms himself as a great filmmaker right from the get go with his 1st feature film. All of his pet themes & motifs are here; biting commentary on the bourgeoisie, empathy for the working classes, sympathy for animals & the environment, a healthy distrust of government, a mockery of the media, disdain for the corporations, scorn for capitalism, all culminating in a rare anarchist worldview. Ho is great!
I understand the overflow of cinema references: it's a thriller, a dark comedy, a romance, a drama: but somehow it gets lost to me. I like the urban mood and it makes me want to know those places, but at the end I got tired of the conflicting plots. I wish it had more art to it.
A taste of things to come from Bong Joon-ho. This is a deliciously darkly-comic piece of cinema that had me bursting out laughing at times. Full of quirky characters and absurd situations, this one isn't to be missed.
Hilarious, action packed, complex, and at times poignant film. The plot is pretty insane, but full of great cinematic moments and lots of morbidly comic situations. It manages to create empathy and a feeling of real involvement with the characters and the problems they end up facing, even if those problems are often absurdly and darkly humorous.
The debut film from Bong Joon-ho is such a terrific little experiment. The story is original and the storytelling itself is incredibly inventive. A director who can make this and then go on to The Host, Mother, Snowpiercer, and others, is certainly a man to be revered and watched closely.
Some of the themes of this film will be developed in his later films, the daily life of regular people and the sudden occurrence of heart-breaking, albeit apparently minor, events. This is an original interesting film.