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Film Fest 2011 - I Saw The Devil


I Saw the Devil
Akmareul boatda, Korea 2010
Director: Kim Jee-woon
Producer: Kim Hyun-woo
Screenplay: Park Hoon-jung
Photography: Lee Mogae
Editor: Nam Na-young
Production designer: Cho Hwa-sung
Costume designer: Kwon Yoo-jin
Music: Mowg
In Korean with English subtitles

With: Lee Byung-hun (Soo-hyun), Choi Min-sik (Kyung-chul), Chun Kook-haun (Captain Jang), Chun Ho-jin (Detective Oh), Oh San-ha (Ju-yeon), Kim Yoon-seo (Se-yeon), Choi Moo-seong (Tae-ju), Kim In-seo (Se-jung)

Festivals: Toronto, San Sebastián 2010; Sundance 2011

143 minutes
Censors rating tbc
"An unflinching gaze into the heart of pure evil and a perverse genre entertainment par excellence." - Rob Nelson, Variety

Love it or hate it, you definitely won't forget it. What should be repellent viewing is anything but in Kim Jee-woon's dazzling and gorgeously crafted thriller. This genre-bender takes the Spy vs Spy antics of cop and serial killer to such devilish extremes that it may be too intense for some viewers. Choi Min-sik (Old Boy), a part-time bus driver and full-time sicko, destroys intelligence service agent Lee Byung-hun's (A Bittersweet Life) world with one beastly act, beginning a cycle of madness and brutality for both men. With respectful nods to The Killer, Last House on the Left and Dirty Harry, the film teeters on an uneasy highwire of audience manipulation, creating empathy for a protagonist who goes from just hero to full-blown sadist. Elevating it beyond pure nastiness is its oddball humour and the confounding way that we end up entranced by the deeply disturbing and yet poignant human connection between the men. - AT