Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Pieta (SIFF 2013) - Movie Review

Pieta is a South Korean drama written and directed by Ki-duk Kim who is a highly respected and decorated filmmaker. This dark and brooding film stars Jung-Jin Lee as Gang-Do and Min-soo Jo as Mi-Son.

Gang-Do is a loan shark enforcer who is very good at what he does. Tasks are executed with clockwork efficiency and brutal precision. He is a man respected and feared by those who have the misfortune to have their name on his ledger. Surprisingly, this all changes, when a mysterious woman claiming to be Gang-Do's mother enters his life and tries to change his violent ways.

It took me a while to really let this movie settle in, but once I let my brain wrap itself around the story, I decided it was an enjoyable film. The pacing is very slow outside of a few moments of brief, yet violent action and one could easily get lost in how mundane parts of it might seem. I'll admit there were a few times where I began to lose interest, but what holds it together is the performance by Jung-Jin Lee in the lead role as he basically maintains a very subdued intensity all the way through.

Pieta is a movie you need to prepare yourself for. This is a sit down, focus, and pay attention all the way through type of movie that has a few interesting plot twists all of which lead to a surprise ending that you may or may not have figured out by the time all is revealed. While I wasn't super excited about this movie, I'm definitely okay with having taken the time to check it out.


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