Tuesday, April 3, 2007
A Dirty Carnival (비열한 거리)
Let me say this upfront, "A Dirty Carnival" ("비열한 거리") is not a Korean version of "Goodfellas." Why? For one thing, the gangsters in "A Dirty Carnival" are much cuter. The main gangsters are so preppy looking, which are the images the gang's "big boss" wants to create: some gangsters don't look like gangsters. And don't forget this is a Korean drama, so it is gonna have some romance added to the main characters, with total sincerity.
In "A Dirty Carnival," Byung-du is a 29 year old gangster who is not quite appreciated by his boss for his "hard work." In order to support his family, he has to become more creative in his gangster career and herd his followers. However, a high school filmmaker friend and a girl with whom Byung-du falls in love change his life forever.
The plot is quite interesting and engaging with a few twists, although quite predictable. There is a lot of violence in this film, but also a lot fun.
I really like the fact that crime is not the center of the film. Crime is used to support these character's relationships and develop their emotions. We see a very complex Byung-du who can be very tender and romantic, yet determined and brutal at the same time.
However, I don't really know how they can fight like a superman who will either never fall or recover remarkably fast. The chaotic fighting is just for show I guess, could have been cut off some more. And there is no cop ever in the film regardless how messy a fight becomes. Surely this is not a Hong Kong film. But nevertheless, this is a pretty darn good gangster films.
My rating: 7 out of 10.