Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Clif-Notes: I Saw the Devil

I was able to watch I saw the Devil yesterday (I've been a tad busy since then) and I was a bit floored by it. It was messed up and completely beautiful. I'll try to explain.
I saw the Devil is a story of revenge. After his fiance is brutally murdered, Kim Soo-hyeon takes matters into his own hands. He is a Special Agent (we really get no further detail except that) and her father is the Chief of Police so he has a bit of an inside for this one. For 2 1/2 hours, he hunts down the killer, Kyung-chul (played by Oldboy's Min-sik Choi. If you haven't seen Oldboy, do it. It is a must), beats the bloody hell out of him and releases him so that he can hunt him again. He begins to play the game of Cat and Mouse with Kyung-chul, with both men trying to trap the other.
The very first scene of the movie is the killer murdering the fiance. She's stranded with a flat tire and he pulls up, "offering help". The help then turns into him bludgeoning her in the head with a hammer and dragging the bloody mess through the snow and into his van, where he takes here to his place to fully kill her. Very sadistically. Here's what I meant by the movie being beautiful. As he drags her to his van, we get a wide, upwards shot of her van and the bloody trail her body leaves, and snow slowly falling everywhere. The actual scene is dark and grisly and we get a gorgeous snowfall shot to offset it. This movie was filled with these. Amazing camera work throughout.
And as brutal and graphic as this movie does get, the psychological banter between murderer and avenger is great. The movie's title is perfect in that you never really get whom it refers to. It could easily be the killer referring to the man who has finally matched him and it could also be the good guy who has seen the face of the devil and fallen. I have my opinion to what it means but the great part is that it doesn't matter. The final scene is one that is actually quite haunting and brilliant. I won't give it away but it almost turns your thoughts on everything around and leaves you with a chill.
This may sound bad, but I love foreign movies for this exact reason. 8 times outta 10, I will choose an American movie to watch. However, most foreign films have the understanding that this can be and is an art form. They tend to put more meaning into their stories while we are content with shit blowing up and just being cool. Nothing wrong with that, but when I'm impressed with a foreign movie, it's usually a great impression than what an American movie leaves me with
All in all, this move was pretty messed up and I know it's not the kinda movie for everyone but you should see it. Amazing story, amazing acting and amazing quality.

No comments:

Post a Comment