Breathless

  • 18
  • Yang Ik-Joon (2009)
  • S Kor
  • 130 min
Breathless
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

Violence breeds violence in this intense and well-shot South Korean tale about a vicious young debt collector (the film's talented, first-time writer/director Yang Ik-Joon) and his unlikely friendship with a wilful high-school girl (Kim Kot-Bi). A raw and naturalistic look at the cyclical nature of domestic and gang brutality, it's stripped of the gloss generally associated with Asian crime dramas. But although the resulting torrent of bloody and disturbingly casual aggression and very strong language is not for the faint-hearted, there's an emotional complexity to events that keep them gripping and increasingly poignant. Both Yang and Kim are superb, with their honest and delicately intimate performances eliciting sympathy for their damaged and relentlessly demoralised characters. It's thanks to them and the unsentimental scripting that the lengthy story's clichés retain an impact, giving extra weight to a predictably dramatic climax.

Plot Summary

South Korean crime drama written, directed by and starring Yang Ik-Joon. A loan shark's vicious enforcer begins to soften after meeting an abused teenage girl. He falls in love for the first time, but their violent world threatens to pull them apart.

Cast and crew

Cast

Sang-Hoon
Yang Ik-Joon
Yeon-Hue
Kot-bi Kim
Man-sik
Man-shik Jeong
Yeong-Jae
Lee Hwan
Young Sang-hun
Sang-won Kim

Crew

Director
Yang Ik-Joon

Other Information

Language: 
English
Colour
Theatrical distributor: 
ICA
Guidance: 
Violence, swearing.
Available on DVD
Released 29 Jan 2010
Certificate 18
Distributor:
Terracotta Distribution
Categories
Drama

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