Set years ago in the era of the Joseon Dynasty, the story follows a young police officer named Namsoon (Ha Ji-won) who, along with her fellow officers, discovers a counterfeit ring operating out of the area they've been assigned to protect. However, as the criminals aren't just printing up their own money, they also plan to use it to topple the economy and take down the government. As her investigative work continues, Namsoon soon makes the acquaintance of a young man known only as Sad Eyes (Gang Dong-won), for the way that he looks out at you from underneath his hair - he doesn't say much, but he's got that look and that's all it takes to pique Namsoon's interest in him, even if she shouldn't be thinking those thoughts about someone she might have to toss in jail. Of course, Namsoon can't deny her feelings even if the object of her affection belongs behind bars, and it's not long before she's starting to act on her emotions.
I don't know how many of the reviewers of this movie realize just how difficult some of the visual effects the director managed to pull off really are. I'm currently an art student and I've helped in the filming of more than a few movies in my life and I've seen more movies than most people have even heard of and yet this movie has stood near the top of the list of my favorite films since I saw it. Now maybe I'm biased because this movie has more emotion depicted in one scene of swordplay than movies like the Notebook. If you missed it the first time through you were obviously reading a book by its cover because its story is told through expressions and movements of the characters not through the traditional blunt, in your face talking which can sometimes neglect the need for visuals in a movie. Half the movies that have come out in the past five years wouldn't be worth a damn except for their dialog. They would be better as books on tape. This movie is all about the visuals and how they blend with an amazing score. Very few directors can pull off emotions through pure visual splendor and music. How this has a barely above a five rating is disgusting. I recommend this movie to anyone. They say the plot is thin but if your just basing that off the dialog you've missed three quarters of the story. Watch the actors body language and how the music builds upon it.
I saw this movie in the Pusan International Film Festival. Director Myung-se Lee said it is the third edition, after the screening. Maybe, it was post-Toronto & Vancouver Festival Version.
The image is so beautiful. Films which shoot in front of blue screen (a lot of CG) won't have this charm. Costume and architecture of the Lee Dynasty are interesting, too. I wasn't bored one minute. I felt two hours short.
I think that the casting is a big success. Ji-won Ha performs the sometime-funny role of female detective Namsoon greatly. Sung-kee Ahn gives the tone to this movie. And, mysterious Sad Eyes, nobody will be able to do excluding Dong-won Kang.
Selection of music makes this movie not sophisticated. At this point, it looks like Lee's previous work "Nowhere to hide-Injeong sajeong bol geot eobtda-". (However, selection of music might be a charm of the Lee works!)
I praise that all characters are solitude and independent. I saw a number of Korean movies and dramas, there are a lot of works of complex story based on the family relation and the sickness. In this movie, a simple story permits intoxicating it beautifully of the image.
The pronunciation of Japanese well known tanka is incorrect. I expect it to be corrected before screening in Japan. a5c7b9f00b
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