The struggle between two evils : ‘Asura’ is the tale of an unwilling villain stuck in a circle of violence
The movie, which has long been garnering public interest for starring high profile actors such as Jung Woo-sung (“The Divine Move”), Hwang Jung-min (“New World”) and Kwak Do-won (“The Wailing”), was unveiled at a press preview held on Wednesday at the CGV in Wangsimni, eastern Seoul. The filmmaker along with the film’s five stars, including Ju Ji-hoon and Jung Man-sik attended the event to add detail to the film.
“This was the first time I wrote a screenplay for a film since ‘The Warriors’ (2001),” said Kim. “I have been planning to put this script on screen for a long time, and worked on it with Jung Woo-sung, who promised to take part in this movie even before reading the script, in mind,” due to the pair’s longtime friendship that formed while filming the 1997 action thriller “Beat,” helmed by Kim and starring Jung.
“I wanted to portray a petty villain [at the top of the violence hierarchy] that collapses with a single blow,” added Kim and explained the motivation behind the movie. “I have always wondered for what reason bad guys sacrifice themselves for their boss. I wished to draw a scapegoat in the violent hell that bites off his boss after being pushed out to the edge of a cliff.”
At the heart of the story is the struggle of the mayor’s human-pet, a corrupted cop Han Do-kyung (Jung), that agonizes on deciding who would be more dangerous to betray between the mayor and a prosecutor Kim Cha-in (Kwak) that physically forces Han to provide him with the evidence to put the mayor behind the bars.
Han’s struggle adds suspense throughout the film, as his decision on who he sides with remains unpredictable until the end.
“Han’s [biggest] desire is to stop the situation from escalating,” explained Jung at the press event. “I believed I should portray a struggling villain that expresses his frustration from being pressed from the bigger evil through [my] physical presence.”
At the peak of Han’s nerve-jangling emotion is also the film’s highlight, where the character recklessly and violently drives in rain to chase his opponent, leading to a catastrophic multiple car-crash.
“One of the most important scenes of this movie is when Han drives to chase another car after spiritual wreckage,” said the director. “We realized that a car chase scene in the rain has not been featured in foreign films.”
The crime-filled action movie, which contains lots of violent scenes and foul language, is rated R and is slated for release on Wednesday.
BY JIN MIN-JI [firstname.lastname@example.org]