Bakjwi (Thirst) (2009)
Critic Consensus: The stylish Thirst packs plenty of bloody thrills to satisfy fans of both vampire films and director Chan Wook Park.
|Rating:||R (for graphic bloody violence, disturbing images, strong sexual content, nudity and language)|
|Genre:||Drama, Horror, Art House & International|
|Directed By:||Chan-wook Park|
|Written By:||Chan-wook Park, Chung Seo-Kyung, Chung Chung-Hoon, Seo-Gyeong Jeong, Seo Jeong gene|
|In Theaters:||Apr 30, 2009 Wide|
|On DVD:||Nov 17, 2009|
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Critic Reviews for Bakjwi (Thirst)
A rollicking, hysterical splatter-sex-comedy only confirms 'Thirst' as one of the year's more extreme, enjoyable entertainments.
My affection for Thirst has mostly to do with the performance of Kim Ok-vin as Tae-ju, a sullen household slave who's transformed into a ravenous, punishing bloodsucker.
Kiddie shows like Twilight and Blood: The Last Vampire pale (you'll excuse the expression) in comparison.
Boldly erotic and playfully ponderous about sins of the flesh, "Thirst" rips open its bodice, and various veins, with arterial sprays of carnage and carnality. It's a savage, frank, fanged fusion of "Double Indemnity" and "The Postman Always Rings Twice."
Perhaps no auteur is as suited to the vampire genre as South Korean director Park Chan-wook, a man who has made a career out of films full of sexual perversity, doomed romances and a seemingly insurmountable volume of blood.
Audience Reviews for Bakjwi (Thirst)
Although somewhat irregular and overlong, this is a wonderfully stylish, well-directed and bloody vampire Korean film whose pitch-black humor contributes to set a hysterical, hugely bizarre tone in Park's surreal gore fest, with Kim Ok-bin in a priceless performance.
Oh what could have been! In "Thirst" you have a great idea; that of a priest who, while trying to help mankind by participating in a vaccine trial that could save millions of lives, ends up with that tainted blood we all know so well. The moral implications are juicy - a man of God wrestling with the bloodthirsty (literally, he he he) beast now residing inside him - what a film this could be.
Sadly, the moralistic aspects of this tale get thrown by the wayside less than halfway through as the film dissolves into a bloody mess (again, literally). This Korean entry certainly has an odd style going for it, and for a time it works in a very linear and matter of fact way. Director Chan Wook Park has no qualms about showering us in torrents of blood as well as the more mundane human rituals, including farting and relieving oneself - stuff that served no purpose in the film and frankly I could have done without.
I was astounded at the amount of detail and time spent on things that didn't matter, while glossing over or simply blithely ignoring some pretty severe plot holes. The film seems to totally miss the point it was initially trying to make, as absurd sequence follows absurd sequence, so by the time you get to the ultimate scenes you almost laugh instead of taking it seriously. Any moral message has by this time become so buried by pointless scenes and a lack of cinematic focus that all sense of poignancy is lost.
The film is just so uneven, even in its CGI. There are some seamless bits where boils and pustules slowly vanish; vanquished by the vampire blood - but then there are some truly awful Crouching Tiger imitation jumping scenes that are truly laughable, and truly add nothing to the tale - really, this uber strong vampire thing once again glosses over the real meat of the matter - that in order to survive, a vampire requires the blood of the species he used to be. That should have been the focus here, along with how a priest slowly loses his battle with the beast within - suffering a loss of faith in the bargain - a metaphorical gem just waiting to be mined - but not in this film.
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