Breathless

Breathless

Yang Ik-Joon (2009)

130min
18 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
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.

Summary

An enforcer for a Mob boss has a change of heart when he meets his new partner in crime's teenage sister. As he falls in love with her, it brings out a compassionate side he had never known before and leaves him determined to reject his life of violence. Crime drama, directed by and starring Yang Ik-Joon. With Kot-bi Kim. In Korean.

Cast & Crew

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

Language: English Colour Theatrical distributor: ICA Guidance: Violence, swearing. Available on: Available on DVD Released on: 29 Jan 2010

Drama

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