A Bittersweet Life (Dalkomhan insaeng) Reviews
Style and class are underrated, or more specifically undermined characteristics of good cinema, and thats what makes A Bittersweet Life so enjoyable even if it is a bit flawed when it pays too much attention to making great scenes which this movie has plenty of.
'Did you have a sad dream?'
'No' said the disciple, 'I had a sweet dream'
'then why are you crying so sadly?'
the disciple answered quietly, while wiping his tears,
'Because the dream I had can never come true.''
made one of my all time favorite horror film 'A Tale of Two Sisters'. I
keep looking forward to his new work. A Bittersweet Life was not any
disappointment at all, although it was not as intelligent work as the
one I mentioned above.
As far as story is concerned, there is nothing much into it. A
sophisticated gangster is given a task by his boss to check on his
girlfriend and kill her if she is having an affair. But our guy fails
to do so because he develops soft corner for the girl. Boss does not
like this and suddenly everyone turns against him. From there and on
wards it's pretty much action only. But very good action indeed.
Although movie feels weak at points where the main character, who is
shown to be very sharp and master of martial arts, under estimates the
situation and opponents. The purpose seem to create complex situation
and show blood. Also at point, emotional fragility would sound infused.
Why did the boss let his girlfriend go alive which he wanted to kill. I
was expecting movie around her protection. The most interesting scene
is where he learns to assemble the gun and then there is a race who
assembles first for life.
Apart from story, everything is perfect and to the spot. Byung-hun Lee
is exceptional in his role. He totally carries out the character with
depth. A well made movie which could have been bitter.
Saw this on 24/9/15
The first collaboration between Kim Ji-woon and Lee Byung-hun may not be as inventive as their other films, but Bittersweet life benefits from it's violent action and raw feel. The cinematography is good sometimes but it could have been better in the action sequences. Lee Byung-hun gives a performances much needed for the role although he doesn't have too many emotional scenes in the film.
One fine spring day a disciple looked at some branches blowing in the wind. He asked his master... "Master, are the branches moving or is it the wing?" Not even glancing to where his pupil was pointing... the master smiled and said...
"That which moves is neither the branches nor the wind..." "It's your heart and mind."
Kim Ji-woon's super cool crime thriller is one of style, delicate beauty, combined with touches of harsh violence. The plot overall is a pulpy gangster staple, yet it's still very well told as every single scene actually is and feels important, and for something as polished and slickly flash there's very little excess fat or filler anywhere to be seen. Byung-hun Lee fits the role of a wronged icy cool, take-no-nonsense, manager of a gangster run restaurant like a glove; while the sweet romantic touches are brilliantly incorporated in this hard-edged tale of blood and revenge. The pacing during the first half is a touch too limp, but once it gets going this is hugely involving, entertaining, and satisfying watch.