Positives:great story, great pacing
“Ddongpari”, or “Breathless”, was nominated and won a slew of awards just a few years ago. It’s a full-length crime/drama flick directed and written by Ik-Joon Yang, who also features as the main character, Sang-Hoon.
DECIDE IF WE TURN INTO SAINTS OR DEVILS
“Ddongpari”, or “Breathless”, was nominated and won a slew of awards just a few years ago. It’s a full-length crime/drama flick directed and written by Ik-Joon Yang, who also features as the main character, Sang-Hoon. It’s always a bit narcissistic to write yourself into your own movie, especially as the main protagonist, but the teaser trailer alone was enough to put my mind at ease. Watch it now if you’d like (it’s at the bottom of the review), it shouldn’t spoil too much of the story.
The first thing that’ll strike you when you’re watching “Breathless” is the accuracy with which the violence is depicted. It’s got that ‘real time’ feeling to it, no silly slow-mos. Which is brilliant, really. I don’t think that there’s anything Hollywood, in real every day life, about getting your face smashed in. I guess Ik-Joon Yang feels the same way…
Now what can I say about his character, Sang-Hoon. This guy is wild. He’ll provoke and attack literally anybody that crosses his path. You’re abusing a woman in the streets? No problem. He’ll just crack you upside the head with a neon tube, punch your lights out and then get to work on the hapless little lady. Or how about breaking up a demonstration by blitzkrieging teenagers with bats and pipes. Yeah, he’s just like that. And he’s the leader of his gang.
So it’s just another typical day for Sang-Hoon when he decides to spit on a schoolgirl, Yeon-Hue (Kot-Bi Kim), walking home from school. She’s none too pleased and mouths off a little bit before delivering a stunning slap to her tormentor’s face. That is, moments before she gets knocked-out. The two, in a stunning turn of events, form an unlikely friendship based on the unabashed use of truth. Or so it seems. If one is being an a-hole, knock-out punch coming or not, they’ll tell the other one without flinching.
The old adage of “a bully will only respect the ones that stand up to him/her” is of particular interest while watching “Breathless”. Profane language is met with an even fouler use of the dictionary. Violence is greeted with violence. And so on. This is a mature film with mature themes that might not be appropriate for a younger audience. I’m tempted to say more, but there is no need. You’re already in or out I presume.
So is it really narcissist to do everything yourself when you’re over-competent and produce something truly interesting. I guess not. In the end, I’m really glad Ik-Joon Yang did most of the work. Everything technical is on par. I love the acting. The movie lays out a clear path for you to follow, it flows exceptionally well and it just might take you somewhere totally unexpected. Add a couple of neat little twists and the fact that it grabbed my attention within the first 60 seconds, which is a great sign, and I never felt like giving up on the story. A good 2 hours and 10 minutes well spent.