Ddongpari (Breathless) (2009)
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A violent man learns compassion when he starts to care for a young woman in this independent crime drama. Song-hoon (Yang Ik-june) is a hired thug working for underworld kingpin Man-shik (Jeong Man-shik), whose money buys only so much of Song-hoon's loyalty. Song-hoon has a violent streak and he's not afraid to strike out against those who would turn against him or his boss, making him an enforcer to be reckoned with in the South Korean underworld. But Song-Hoon's life begins to change when he meets Yeong-jae (Lee Hwan), Man-Shik's newest underling. Yeong-jae has a teenage sister, Han Yeon-heui (Kim Gol-bi) who is as good-hearted as her brother is corrupt. Soon-hong and Yeon-heui get to know one another, and his affection for her brings out a compassionate side in his nature that he's never been willing to acknowledge before. As Soon-hong falls deeper in love with Yeon-heui, he begins considering leaving his old life behind, which is more difficult than he ever imagined. Ddongpari (aka Breathless) was the first feature film from writer, producer and director Yang Ik-june, who also stars as Song-hoon. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi … More
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as Sang-hun's Mother
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as Young Sang-hun
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as Bi-level Dad
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Critic Reviews for Ddongpari (Breathless)
Although his first film is only a partial success, Yang Ik-june is a filmmaker worth watching for.
Breathless pummels viewers with nearly the same ferocity and frequency with which the characters assault each other.
Amid the violent outbursts are moments of warmth and tenderness, some featuring the protagonist's young nephew, the best hope for breaking the generational cycles of domestic tragedy.
Blending a thoughtful cycle-of-violence subplot with a piercing study of how even the most hateful and isolated people inevitably affect those around them, 'Breathless' is a challenging, dynamic experience.
We will give Yang, the film's writer, director, and star, the benefit of the doubt by assuming his chronicle of relentless cruelty is not autobiographical.
Audience Reviews for Ddongpari (Breathless)
A bitter and abusive debt collector finds some relief when he meets a high school girl.
Sang-Hoon founded a debt collecting company with a friend. His friend is the boss, but Sang-Hoon prefers to do the dirty job. Sang-Hoon has only seen violence all of his life. He suffered domestic violence at home, so he goes around treating every body the only way he has ever been treated. He insults and disrespects the boss (his friend) in front of the workers, he sometimes even punches his work colleagues, but he beats the hell out of every body else he encounters. Nothing seems to matter to him, he seems unstoppable, until he meets a senior high school girl who seems not to be afraid of him. Sang-Hoon, doesn't know that like him she has suffered domestic violence at the hands of her father, seems to appreciate and respect her attitude. They establish a friendship.
Breathless (original title: Ddongpari, which apparently translates as something like "shit-fly") is an unrelenting and uncompromising film from the very first frame. There are constant beatings and fights. Violence pervades every frame. The structure of the film seems repetitive, moving in circles, as if to mirror the circle of violence that the characters are trapped in. Yang Ik-Joon (writer, director, producer, and lead actor) has crafted a film that explores themes of domestic violence and its effects on people. The film seems a bit loose and unfocused in the middle but it is a powerful film for those who manage to reach the end. Extreme and brutal violence on screen. More swearing than Scorsese's Goodfellas. But a powerful first film with amazing performances from Yang Ik-Joon and Kot Bi-Kim playing the school girl with attitude.
The film's destructive nature in depicting the circle of domestic violence is impressive, You can truly feel the main character's anger & there are some very interesting moments in the film but overall it lacks any ambition specially in its ending which is really cliche & dissapointing
Breathless is a harsh and confrontational film. It takes a look at domestic violence, and how it simply breeds more violence throughout the family. There is something very destructive and awkward with this film. The profanity and violence come thick and fast and redemption often seems a long way off. Breathless doesn't excuse the actions it depicts, but it does suggest that they may be a result of early, childhood experiences. As all the characters get caught in a depressing circle we are gradually drawn in and bare witness to moments of humanity. This is a powerful and unforgettable film, but it will take a lot to get through the first half.
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