A Bittersweet Life

A Bittersweet Life (달콤한인생) embodied just what I love about Korean movies, and had few of the downsides. From director Kim Ji-Woon (A Tale of Two Sisters) and starring Lee Byung-hun (Three… Extremes) it was just one of those insane revenge pics that only Koreans can pull off so precisely.

The film is about Sun Woo (Lee), who is assigned to tail his boss’ lover, whom his boss suspects of infidelity (ironically enough, the boss has a wife as well). Sun Woo is told that if she is found to be unfaithful, he must kill her. Upon confirming her cuckoldry, his conscience does not allow him to kill her; when his boss finds out about this, loads and loads of violence result, and Sun Woo opens up a Kimchi jar full of whoop-ass. The movie is definitely not as brutal as Oldboy or Sympathy for Mr Vengeance, but it’s still a very violent movie, with incredible timing, gradually escalating to the final showdown.

The movie was gorgeously shot, with some fantastic scenes as well as excellent sound. Everything was absolutely top-notch. Definitely one of the better movies I’ve seen over the last while. Not only was it well done, I also had a lot of fun watching it.

****½

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