Da 5 Bloods
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I May Destroy You
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Park Hung-Joon's The Tiger is an incredibly powerful allegorical drama set during the Japanese rule of Korea in the early 1900s.
The Japanese rulers have declared to make extinct the last remaining Korean tigers so hire local hunters to help kill the last surviving family on the mountain.
Man Duk (Choi Min-Sik) is an old hunter of principle, deemed to be the best by all his hunting peers. He refuses to help the Japanese hunt the last remaining tiger and carries on with his life of hardship whilst the Japanese carry on with their hunt.
On the face of it The Tiger is about Man vs Tiger but if you look a little harder then the allegorical themes will reveal themselves.
The Tiger represents Korea's resilience towards Japan's invasion and rule during one of their hardest historical periods of adversity. Just watch City Of Life & Death to see how the Koreans suffered at the hands of the Japanese.
As well as this allegory we are also reminded of humanities utter disregard for nature. The Japanese machine does not stop for anything in their pursuit therefore other animals in their path are despicably killed and forest is decimated. At times this is a tough watch and reminded me how horrible we can be as a species.
Park Hung-Joon's deft direction is superb. He slowly reveals the tiger throughout, often seeing glimpses of the beast between the trees & foliage. He waits until the final breathtaking and downright emotional act to reveal the tiger in all of its rendered beauty. A CGI'd tiger to rival Richard Parker in Life Of Pi.
The setting of the mountain side is almost a character in itself. We watch the changing seasons give the beautiful landscape it's own bleak personality.
Performances are generally good but it's Choi Min-Sik who stands out. He remains one of my favourite actors since he was introduced to me in Oldboy.
The Tiger is breathtaking with an emotionally charged final act which had me in tears. A perfect 5/5.