Ddongpari (Breathless)

2009

Ddongpari (Breathless)

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

83%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 24

82%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 672
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Ddongpari (Breathless) Photos

Movie Info

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.

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Cast

Kim Kkot-bi
as Yeon-hee
Lee Hwan
as Yeong-jae
Ik-Joon Yang
as Sang-Hoon, Sang-hun
Park Jeong-soon
as Seung-cheol
Kkobbi Kim
as Yeon-Hue
Seungyeon Lee
as Hyeon-seo
Kim Hye-soo
as Hyeong-in
Lee Jin-sook
as Sang-hun's Mother
Choi Yong-min
as Hyeong-seok
Kil Hae-yeon
as Yeon-hee's mother
Kim Sang-won-I
as Young Sang-hun
Seon-ae Ji
as Jun-hee
Oh Jee-hye
as Yeon-hee's homeroom teacher
Hong Seung-il
as Beating male
Jeong In-gi
as Bi-level Dad
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Critic Reviews for Ddongpari (Breathless)

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (20) | Rotten (4)

  • Although his first film is only a partial success, Yang Ik-june is a filmmaker worth watching for.

    Jan 14, 2011 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Breathless pummels viewers with nearly the same ferocity and frequency with which the characters assault each other.

    Jan 13, 2011 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    May 13, 2010 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Feb 2, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • One of the most relentlessly abusive movies you will ever see - the dialogue is a non-stop torrent of profanity, and the action consists of one brutal beating after another. Yet it cries out to be seen.

    Feb 2, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Tom Charity

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • A horribly nasty and violent drama.

    Feb 2, 2010 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Ddongpari (Breathless)

  • Apr 27, 2014
    I do think this film is probably longer than it really needs to be. You could tell the same story about the cycle-of-violence and Song-hoon's search to stop his violent ways, due to his very violent and tumultuous childhood, as he comes to care for a young woman and his nephew in 110 minutes. It definitely should've been kept under two hours, it would've helped with the pacing and some of the scenes wouldn't have felt so aimless. With that said, this is still a pretty damn good film. Might be one of the better Korean dramas I've seen in a while, maybe since Sunshine and Poetry. I realize that might not be saying much, considering the rating, and it really isn't, but the fact that so many Korean dramas devolve into cheap melodramatic tactics in order to manipulate your feelings doesn't make for a good film, in my estimation. If you've followed my reviews, and why would you, then you know I can't stand the constant melodrama seen in these films. Which is why it's a great change of pace when you get a movie like this, that's surprisingly unsentimental. Yes, it has its dramatic moments near the end, but it never feels exploitative or cheap. I thought the story was strong because, while you get to see the worst side of the main character, through his physically, and verbally, abusive ways, you also get to see some moments of warmth and tenderness out of the most unlikeliest of characters. It doesn't really feel forced, because the character, until one very traumatic moment nearing the end of the film, doesn't really begin to change. He's still very physically abusive when he's out collecting the money his boss is owed. And he's still verbally abusive to those around him, but this aspect of him is more comical than anything else. Though there's times, where Song-hoon, after his father is released, lashes out more at those around him and his verbally abusive ways becomes a little more troubling than comical. It was cool seeing how Song-hoon brought all those around him closer together in a positive way, even after ***SPOILER*** his death. This ending isn't particularly predictable, because Song-hoon himself even alludes to it. Not in a direct way by saying 'I'm going to die', but saying that there's always someone out there that's tougher than you or more violent than you are, he was saying this in reference to a man that owed him money that was beating on his wife. And that's exactly what happened to him at the end, but not before he made, as mentioned, a positive change in the lives he touched. Again, it doesn't feel forced or cheap. It comes across organically in the film. And the ending, as in the final shots of the film, are particularly bittersweet, because, as mentioned, you get to see the positive impact he had on the people he met, but you also see that the cycle-of-violence will, in fact, continue. It has its flaws, mostly the fact that it is too long, but it's still a damn compelling, dark Korean drama.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Jul 23, 2012
    The profanity would make characters from Glengarry Glen Ross blush, though it works well because isnt forced or meant to represent more than it is: just cursing and ignorance. This is a film full of genuine emotions and relationships. Superbly acted and a fine effort of directing. A minor flaw was that it was a little too overt and on the nose especially with it's flashback scenes depicting the characters past; sometimes they felt like exposition that could've been presented in a more organic manner rather than being conventional using flashbacks. But the final few flashbacks work extremely well. The scenes right before the hospital scene and final scene in the street are excellent and brave, it left me winded as if I'd been hit in the stomach by one of Hang Soo's punches. Those additional scenes in the end could've been a little less sentimental, but it that point the film earns it and it does help tie up any loose ends. But for me, it would've been just as powerful if we, the audience, were left hanging like Hang Soo. I don't think the director needed to connect the dots as much as he did but again, it doesn't take away anything from the film and considering it's his first, I'll be looking forward to seeing what he does in his upcoming films.
    G S Super Reviewer
  • Sep 28, 2010
    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
    Arash X Super Reviewer
  • Jun 25, 2010
    a interesting story following a couple of charactors, one in particular with rage issues using his attitude to collect money, and his new friendship with a young girl who is dealing with same problems but from her over bearing brother, it is a good watch but a streched out running time and especially story towards end dragging it down a bit
    scott g Super Reviewer

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