Bad Guy

2001

Drama / Romance / Thriller

168
IMDb Rating 6.8 10 8

Synopsis


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May 28, 2020

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720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
943.49 MB
1280*720
Korean 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
100 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.89 GB
1920×1080
Korean 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
100 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by DeeNine-2 8 / 10 / 10

Disturbing and then some

This is what might be called postmodern naturalism. Director Ki-duk Kim tells a brutal story without comment and without mercy. He reminds us of some human truths that will make some viewers uncomfortable, and he invites controversy. First, two things: Spoilers to come, so if you haven't seen this movie you might want to stop reading now. Second, if you've seen the movie only once and are scratching your head, you're not alone. Here's what happens: Han-ki (Jae-hyeon Jo), a street tough pimp walking along in a South Korean city spies this very pretty and privileged college girl, Sun-hwa (Won Seo), sitting on a bench waiting for her boyfriend. The girl is everything Han-ki desires. He sits down next to her. She pretends not to notice him while she talks on her cell phone to her boyfriend. When she does deign to notice him (and his desire for her) she shirks back in horror at his dirty, lower-class presumption and gets up. Her boyfriend arrives while she throws ugly glances at Han-ki. Han-ki can't take it anymore and grabs her and forcefully kisses her as the boyfriend beats him about the head. Some soldiers arrive on the scene and beat the tar out of Han-ki. As a parting gesture, pretty girl spits on Han-ki as he is held by the soldiers. That's "the setup." It's the kind of setup that cries out for revenge or at least a comeuppance, which is what I expected. Or perhaps pretty college girl and the bad guy will find true love and overcome their social differences. What actually happens is beyond expectation in a way that is likely to stun and totally engage the viewer. Pretty girl is at a book store. She compromises herself (in the viewer's eyes) by tearing a page out of an art book and putting it in her purse. This can be seen as the fatal moral flaw that leads to her degeneration. Han-ki sees this. (He has been following her.) Near her on the book display is a fat wallet. Pretty college girl grabs it, looks both ways, and puts it in her purse. This is the fatal moral flaw leading to entrapment and a descent into hell. She hurries to the bathroom and in the stall opens the wallet and takes out the money. Meanwhile the guy who lost the wallet is told (presumably by the bad guy) that she has the wallet and is in the bathroom. By the time he gets there she is gone. He chases after her and finally catches her. He roughs her up, calls her a pickpocket, and then forces her to go to a loan shark and sign an agreement (with her body as collateral) for money that he says was in the wallet. This might be called "the turn" as the setup takes on a startling twist. Next Sun-hwa is forced into prostitution by Han-ki. She makes some feeble attempts to get away, but mysteriously has nowhere to go it seems, and anyway is too afraid to run. She realizes that she is going to lose her 21-year-old virginity so she begs her captors to let her lose it to her boyfriend. Han-ki and his fellow thugs mysteriously oblige. However, the boyfriend is confused and doesn't get the job done. They pull him out of the car, slap him around, dump him, and Sun-hwa is back at the showcase on the street. Through a two-way mirror Han-ki watches her lose her virginity to a forceful client. Question number one: why doesn't Han-ki ever speak? Question number two: why does he watch her behind the two-way mirror instead of taking her himself? The answer comes later in the film when we do hear him speak for the first time. His voice is a high shriek. Guess what his unique problem is. And then comes the resolution. Yes, this is a love story of sorts and yes they do fall in love in a way that is debased and seemingly fated. He's a pimp and she's now a prostitute. This works out since he is able to vicariously experience her sexually and she is able to thereby serve the man she loves. And together they can make a living. There is also a supernatural element in the film that suggests that the story is part wish-fulfillment fantasy by Han-ki. His ability to beat up the other guys and survive knife wounds fairly begs credulity. During the course of the film he loses enough blood to supply a small hospital. And the scene where both he and Sun-hwa appear together on the beach as if by magic is more mystical than realistic. Director Ki-duk Kim's message seems to be that animal passion will win out in the end, and that humans are, despite the facades they put on, just animals doing animal-like things in the human jungle, and deliverance comes only when one realizes his or her nature and gives into it. Ki-duk Kim makes us identify with the bad guy and feel that he and pretty girl are no worse or no better than anyone else. In short I found this movie disturbing like something from, say, novelist Cormac McCarthy. I am thinking especially of his novel, "Child of God." That title is ironic in the sense that his anti-heroic protagonist really is, whatever we may say or think, or however bestial his behavior, a child of God, while Ki-duk Kim's title "Bad Guy" ("Nabbeun namja") is also ironic in the sense that Han-ki is by societal standards certainly a bad guy, but by naturalistic (or cosmic) standards no better or worse than the pretty college girl. (Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon!)

Reviewed by FilmFlaneur 10 / 10 / 10

Despite misgivings, a powerful and excellent film

I saw this film shortly after seeing the same director's The Isle and was much more affected by this production, although they are both striking works. Like the earlier film, Bad Guy is a tale of obsession between lovers who exist on the edge of human relations, and features some disturbing scenes. There's a sado-masochistic thread common in those Ki-duk Kim's films I have seen which some viewers will, understandably, find controversial. The major characters are isolated, one is tempted to say insulated, from humanity, and develop their own fiercely peculiar interactions. There's the exploited lake girl (also a whore) who tends the pontoon huts in The Isle, miles from civilisation, and the murderer who seeks his hideout on the water. There's the student held as prostitute, imprisoned in her booth, and the largely mute brothel thug who falls for her, frequently stuck admiringly behind his viewing glass. These are people apart from the rest of the world by reason of misfortune or status, who hold our attention as they eventually come together. Unlike the animal cruelty and fish hook fetishism exhibited in The Isle, Bad Guy's principal talking point lies in the changing relationship between an unwilling whore and her abductors. Bad Guy's victim is 'hooked' against her will just as securely as are the fish in The Isle. Inveigled into prostitution after a tough guy develops a romantic fixation on her in the street, she gradually comes to accept her new condition in life, the advances of her captor and even grows to 'like' being in the arms of her customers. I use inverted commas for this word as the idea that a woman can gradually enjoy her forced acquiescence into moral degradation, and enter into a voluntary relationship with a tormentor, is debatable to say the least. There's a scene in the film which neatly describes the dilemma. The thug spends his first night with his love, an unconsummated encounter after which she sleeps on the floor beside him. She has been intimidated, then reassured, he ardent yet constrained by his feelings. First thing next morning he rises, studies her room, and spends a moment on straightening a nail in her wall. Through his one way mirror set in the wall, he has previously seen her at her most pathetic trying, unsuccessfully, to hang up a garment. Clearly this brief DIY is a moment of loving thought, out of place in any black and white view of their peculiar relationship. In fact Bad Guy is full of moments of tenderness, aided greatly by the plaintive melody of the score and the intense chemistry between the two leads. One superbly staged scene is where the two kiss through the one-way glass, she unaware of his secret response to her longing, at least until his lighter flame belatedly flickers his visage into view later. Another is as she resignedly dons a trashy wig and applies thick lipstick. He looks on again in secret, aghast at her depression, unable – or unwilling - to interfere. Far from being a vicious peeping tom, by this stage he is practically a protector, transfixed by an obsession, as a couple of times he even dashes in to rescue her from unwanted advances. Fresh from a brutal world, the mute is not violent to his ward, nor does he rape her, and by the end of the film his possession is less physical than it is emotional. Add to this on the one occasion he speaks the sudden sound of his high pitched voice, (vocal chords presumably damaged by a conspicuous throat injury) so aptly suggestive of a eunuch's speech, and the nature of his character can be seen quite differently. Outside of this central relationship, one might nit-pick at less than satisfactory plot points. How the thug recovers so abruptly from life-threatening wounds for instance, or his spell in prison, during which legal processes seems to take no time at all (by reference to an extended fantasy is the usual answer, an occurrence which further undermines the allegations of misogyny). Or the girl's prompt location of the missing parts of the photograph, itself symbolic of her fractured relationships, beneath a considerable expanse of anonymous sand at the beach, and so on. (Ki-duk Kim's use of the shore line as an emotional 'no-man's zone' incidentally reminds one of the importance of such moments in Takeshi Kitano's oeuvre.) The overall impression however is of quite an achievement, and one which is perhaps more mature about the unpredictable nature of love and attraction than the director has been earlier. In short, Bad Guy is no bad film, and despite some misgivings about the moral premise of the piece, is well worth seeing.

Reviewed by sain11 10 / 10 / 10

Extremely good film

This is an extremely good film - highly recommended. It will not be to everyone's taste, but if you are not afraid of thinking during a film then you should find plenty to take away from this one. Bad Guy is a film based on the central premise of a relationship built between what is effectively a hostage-taker and his hostage. What transpires is a stream of abuses, power-shifts, emotional turmoil, love, hate, violence, sex, and almost every other aspect of life. This is an extremely original story, well told, with fascinating characters that are extremely human... both the good and bad sides of humanity. The production values are very high, great acting, direction, cinematography, script, music, everything is top notch. Typically, Korean films are very much based in real characters, social issues, and have an earthy approach that humanises their films beyond those of most countries. Bad Guy is no exception... while it is violent, confrontational, and decidedly dark, it bristles with underlying emotion and shows life without the rose coloured glasses. The characters are at times extremely emotional, and at others almost entirely emotionally void as they struggle constantly to keep their balance in circumstances that are spiraling around them. This is not an 'easy' film, in that it does not hand feed the viewer, there are no 'Jaws' style music queues to let you know when to be scared. You will need to work out how to feel for yourself with this one, which is fairly rare in this day and age. As said earlier, this movie is not for everyone, however if the concept sounds like something that interests you, then you should enjoy this film. If on the other hand you don't like the idea of watching a film based on the idea of a man forcing a woman into a life of sexual servitude, then stay well away from this film.

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