2010.9.24 NOW PLAYINGBanga? Banga! (12)
For those who love comedies, the Korean movie industry has been too serious in the past few months mainly because hard-core thrillers and action-packed films have been dominant. But with its silly yet zany characters, “Banga? Banga!” will allow viewers a moment to laugh out loud.
Directed by Yuk Sang-hyo, who produced the hit comedy film “Hi Dharma 2, Showdown in Seoul” (2004), Banga? Banga! uses the high unemployment rate as a theme for the film. Leading character Bang Tae-sik (Kim In-kwon) is sick and tired of receiving failure notices from the companies he applies to. One day he realizes he is often mistaken for a foreign migrant worker and decides to disguise himself as a man from Bhutan named Banga in order to get a job. The film focuses on the trouble he, and his disguise, cause.
Yuk said this film does not look down on migrant workers, but that he tried to spotlight the lives of minorities and the young generation, who are struggling to make ends meet with low monthly wages and tough lives.
Banga? Banga! does not feature any A-list actors but Kim In-kwon, who has played numerous supporting roles in famous Korean films like “Haeundae” (2009), proves he deserves to become a leading actor.
River of Murder (18)
“River of Murder” traces the lives of two best friends - Seung-ho (Kim Da-hyun) and Dong-sik (Shin Sung-rok) - who fall in love with the same girl, Myung-hee. But when the girl is suddenly raped and murdered by Dong-sik’s older brother, Kyung-sik, the two close friends grow apart. Six years after Myung-hee’s death, Seung-ho is imprisoned for participating in a labor campaign.While in prison, he meets Kyung-sik, who commits suicide shortly after their meeting, and his death drives Seung-ho and Dong-sik even further apart. Later, the two friends reunite to find out the truth behind the deaths of Myung-hee and Kyung-sik.
Director Kim Dae-hyun is a veteran independent filmmaker and his foray into the thriller genre is said to be done well by film critics. Both Shin and Kim used to be famous musical theater actors. Shin has starred in a couple of dramas and films but this is the first time Kim has been featured in a full-length film.
A Troubleshooter (15)
Action / 100 min. / Korean
This film by critically-acclaimed director Kwon Hyeok-jae is crammed with thrilling action. It tells the story of a retired police detective who now runs a detective agency. His life is lackluster and the days seem to repeat themselves. But when a client leads him into a trap, he finds himself accused of murder - the only way out is to kidnap someone to clear his name. Although this plot severely lacks logic at times, and has a mediocre script, the film has plenty of raw humor to make up for it. The movie survives because of the strong performance by acclaimed actor Sol Kyung-gu.
Earth’s Women (all)
Documentary / 95 min. / Korean
Three college women, brimming with youth and dreams of becoming farmers, leave the city and marry men who live in a small village in South Gyeongsang.
They imagined toiling and sweating next to the man they loved. But reality isn’t all that sweet: as they become mothers and wives, they stumble through mistakes and endure the scolding of the elderly villagers.
For a year, a camera follows them as they learn about farming and adjust to their new lives.
Their experiences and the unexpected conflict are easy to sympathize with, even if you have never been to a farm.
As they settle into a life far different from their dreams, the camera shows the true situation of women in the countryside. Touching upon the small, subtle beauties in our lives, the film leaves audiences feeling moved by its beautiful, truthful portrayal of “earth’s women.”
The Borrowers (all)
Animation / 94 min. / Japanese
Fans of Japanese animation will be delighted with “The Borrowers.” Written by Hayao Mizayaki and directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, the movie is based on Mary Norton’s original story.
The main character is a 10-centimeter tall girl, Arrietty - a Thumbelina of sorts. Although her “kind” - the miniscule people - is forbidden from revealing themselves to humans, Arrietty grows tired of life under the floorboards of a country home and joins the human world. While trying to reach the sugar bowl, she gets caught by a human boy. Contrary to her expectations, humans don’t turn out to be monsters. But as soon as she begins to open up to her new friend, her family becomes endangered and she must help them. Touching and rife with humor, the film is fun for the whole family.