Posted tagged ‘so ji-sub’

Film Review: Rough Cut / Yeonghwaneun Yeonghwada (2008)

November 26, 2009

Rough Cut: One Smooth Ride, Coming Up

by Ender’s Girl

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The Cast:

So Ji-sub, Kang Ji-hwan, Hong Soo-hyeon, Ko Chang-seok

Directed by Jang Hoon; Screenplay by Kim Ki-duk and Ok Jin-gon / Kim Ki-duk Film, 2008

In a Nutshell:
A chance encounter between a gangster and a movie star blurs the boundaries between their very different worlds — with somewhat disturbing consequences.

(SpoilLert: No whoppers, yay.)

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I watched Rough Cut with my best friend, and it was totally worth the hypothetical dinero we would’ve shelled out had we gone and seen the film in theaters (which we obviously didn’t, because (1) we live in a different climate zone for Pete’s sake; and (2) downloading rawwwks, baybeh). But I can see why Rough Cut attracted Korean moviegoers and made a killing at the box office: it’s fast-paced and entertaining, with badass fight choreography and strong, solid (and not to mention award!!!-winning!!!) performances from Messrs. So Ji-sub (as the gangster, Gang Pae) and Kang Ji-hwan (as the movie star, Soo Ta).

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The premise is a funny little switcheroo of sorts: think “The Prince and the Pauper” meets Wife Swap meets Trading Places. You have a gangster who secretly longs to be an actor, and an actor who behaves like a gangster — fanciful, yes, but interesting. And there’s a certain droll symmetry to the characters of Gang Pae and Soo Ta: on one hand you have this moody, dispassionate gangster with a strange code of honor, and then you have this reckless, licentious movie star whose gets embroiled in the consequences of his own actions. The movie is rife with point/counterpoint metaphors and visual imagery — black outfits vs. white, underworld vs. celluloid, real vs. reel, gangsta vs. film star — to an almost exaggerated degree (but then, with characters literally named “Gangster” and “Star,” I doubt the writers were aiming for any kind of subtlety here). Obviously this style was meant to underscore the contrast between their stations in life, as well as their respective ways of dealing with the repercussions of their choices, which inevitably spiral out of control as the story progresses. And by the time the movie’s climax comes to a head, you’re left breathless and transfixed.

Click to see who likes to play in the mud. Tsk, tsk. MOAR!!! after the jump…

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