Many people may not know that Korean, Hong Kong and Japanese cinema are one of the most accomplished and refined cinematic experiences you can have.Sadly we do not get these films shown in UK cinemas and our exposure is so limited but if you are lucky enough, as i have been, to watch and savour this cinema then you will appreciate why I feel that Hollywood is sometimes years behind in making movies in certain genres.
An example of this is a horror film called The Ring which is a Japanese horror and you may have come across the dreadful US re-make….i promise you there is no comparison. The original was made with a fraction of the budget, unknown cast and no glamour, yet it was one of the best horror films ever made. I will talk more about the Ring in a separate post as i want to discuss this stunning film “A Bittersweet Life”.
The movie is Korean and it has such a simple story line but the way it has been directed and acted is simply stunning. It is so slick in it’s actions scenes – effortless gun play, dramatic scenes with no background score, so much is said in the acting that at times you do not even need the dialogue. It moves as a steady pace and you are just drawn into what is going to happen next and when it does….oh wow…..awesome ! The camerawork almost plays like another added character to the movie and the choreography of the action is out of this world. The movie is so simple yet so stunning, if you like intensity, sympathy, gun-play, sadness, empathy and the wow factor – they go watch this film.
You may still be able to get a Korean version but it may have now been deleted but US have a good Blu Ray version available. Give it a go and the only negative is unless you can speak fluent Korean, you will need the subtitles.
Some other re-makes of movies you may be aware of –
Infernal Affairs (Hong Kong ) – Departed
Old Boy (Korean) – OldBoy –