It is widely agreed that Korean cinema ranks among the greatest in the world because of the originality of its plots, the depth of its characters, and the professionalism of its production. Numerous Korean films have been critically acclaimed and widely seen across the world, and the country’s cinematic output spans a wide variety of categories and aesthetic approaches. Furthermore, many Korean films have smart and amusing takes on important societal issues. With that being said, here are a few Korean movies to stream to escape boredom this weekend.
A handsome, cold-hearted mobster named Kang-Do develops feelings for the lonesome middle-aged lady who purports to be his mom. The protagonist debilitates others to take back what he is owed, and one day he returns to find his newfound love gone. He begins to question everyone he has rendered immobile because he fears that they might have abducted his paramour. The director, like the majority of his films, probed the grey areas of morality and the depths of the person’s psyche. Since it examines Hamlet and the Oedipus dynamic, the picture combines Christian imagery with tremendous violence and blatant sexuality. The reaction it received during the Venice Film Festival, where it premiered, was very divided due to its extreme brutality. Nonetheless, the launch was met with a 10-minute round of applause. In addition to being Korea’s formal Oscar submission, the film’s director, Kim-Ki Duk, earned an accolade for his efforts that year.
Extreme Job (2019)
I think we can all agree that the idea behind this movie is one of the funniest ever conceived, but I guarantee you won’t be laughing during the final sequence. In this last attempt to bring down a major drug gang, a team of disgraced narcotics investigators is given a second chance. They purchase a fried-chicken eatery that the cartel frequents so they can keep an eye on their every move. With the help of a traditional secret from one of the investigators, the eatery’s fried chicken dish quickly rises to fame. What happens next is how they manage to bust the narcotics ring. You won’t be able to break free of its grip. The comedy is delightful and well-placed. However, the middle parts will sometimes feel like a drag, but don’t let that deter you from watching this one-of-a-kind movie.
Sea Fog (2019)
The filmmakers in the Korean film industry have a knack for creating compelling dramatic adaptations of real-life events. In the tragic events depicted in this movie, 25 Korean-Chinese immigrants drowned while trying to reach safety in China. The crew of the large fishery trawler Jeojinho agrees to transport 30 undocumented immigrants hailing from China to South Korea in exchange for a hefty sum after failing to capture enough salmon to meet their quota. While being pursued by the South Korean Border Patrol, the boat is caught in a tremendous rainstorm and thick mist. The commander gives instructions to dump the illegal immigrants into a fish tank so that the sailors may go away unscathed. The sorrow shown in “Sea Fog” serves to highlight the inequalities of society as well as the struggles individuals face in pursuit of a brighter, but yet unclear, future.
The Gangster, The Cop, & The Devil (2019)
Korean directors deserve praise for creating compelling and believable storylines. A person’s vehicle is struck by an unknown person, and when the person steps out to snap pictures for compensation, the stranger viciously murders him. While Jung Tae-Suk, an upstanding member of the investigative force, is certain that this is the work of a prolific murderer, his supervisor disagrees. However, the tables are turned when mobster Jang Dong-soo is assaulted by the same murderer and lives. The mobster’s goal is to track down the murderer and eliminate him, whereas the cops’ goal is to apprehend him. The criminal and the policeman strike an agreement in order to track down the devil. This film is remarkable because of the differences and the balance of authority among the protagonists. The film’s combat and pursuit scenes are expertly staged, and it provides a liberal serving of comedic relief.
Innocent Witness (2019)
An elderly gentleman has been found murdered, and the sole eyewitness is his autistic daughter, who lives in the apartment just across the street. When confronted, the girl accuses the maid of killing, but the woman says it was accidental. The maid is being defended by a former human rights attorney who now works for a legal giant in search of fast cash and a huge client. He attempts to get close to a woman. However, he’s conflicted about whether or not to put her on trial. The remainder of the film follows the attorney as he works to uncover the facts and forms a bond with the autistic child, allowing him to perceive reality through her perspective. Even though the plot is very simple and obvious, the performance by Kim Hyang Gi is the true standout of the film.
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