There is no doubt that for those of us who are lovers of korean cinema and its seriesSitges 2022 has been paradise. Not only has the programming been spectacular, with almost a dozen South Korean productions scheduled throughout the festival, but we have also had the presence of their directors and actors, which has taken the experience of seeing the film to a next level.
Jung Woo-sung has presented with the actor Kim Jun Han the film in all its screenings, which has delighted fans and those who boast that they have not yet fallen into the Korean wave. But you know you know what? It doesn’t matter if they are not present, ‘A man of Reason’ is one of the thrillers of the year. It has all the ingredients to be remembered. With her you laugh, you feel the anxiety grow within you and enjoy measured and choreographed action scenes to perfection.
After 10 years of imprisonment on behalf of his boss, all Su-hyuk (Jung Woo-sung) wants is a normal life, which he hopes will include his old girlfriend, Min-seo, and their daughter, In-bi. Meanwhile, sometime in the last decade, his boss has adopted an air of legitimacy. Now, the old gang robs and murders under the guise of urban development. And they want the reluctant Su-hyuk on board.
Jung Woo-sung may not bring anything new to the world of thriller, but never-before-seen creations or previously-told stories are not needed to deliver a quality product. Su-hyuk’s character is one of those who presents himself as an anti-hero with very clear but hardly feasible redemption overtones.. Thus, we are faced with the eternal dilemma of wanting to leave a world of death, pain and crime and to do so having to carry out each and every one of the actions that you want to leave behind.
It might seem that Su-hyuk and, therefore, the actor, appear flat, impassive and not at all emotional despite the plot line that unfolds, but if we are able to see behind the mask of seriousness and integrity that has always protected him in a world in which the slightest gesture of weakness can suppose to be finished, we find ourselves before a man who, more than seeking redemption, only seeks rest.
A luxury cast
Kim nam Gil wears a 2022 to remember. Between the role of him in the K-drama ‘through the darkness‘, the best of this year, and his role as a sadistic murderer in this film can tell that no matter what he is offered, he is ready to face any challenge. Since his roles are diametrically opposed to him, some prize should fall to him in the awards season since here he borders on the disbelief that can be associated with psychopathy in those cases in which the chaos does not return from the perpetrator of crimes who believes he is invincible.
But it is not the only one that stands out, since Kim Jun Ha Y Lee Elijah They offer, each in their own way, sober and weighty performances that help set the tone on the film every time they appear on screen. This is one of the things that we should most praise about the script and the direction, the ability to present characters with enough three-dimensionality to generate a story in themselves, without diverting our attention from the main plot.
As always, the technical section borders on the impeccable, Korean cinema has us so well accustomed. Photography is a marvel of tonalities and contrasts. The staging is careful and although it gives the feeling of everyday life and normality, especially in the scenes in which a character from the family is involved, it is capable of moving naturally from a luxury area to an abandoned building, offering us a tremendous continuity between scenes even with fights and car chases of those in which you keep wondering how they filmed.
It may have been his first film, but it’s clear that Jung Woo-sung is aware of the importance of the technical aspects, and both ambient-based sound editing and point editing, through explosions and roaring car engines, are conscientiously worked. Also, there’s sure to be a tune you can’t get your head out of, and it’s probably not the first time it’s happened to you, because those notes were already part of your life when Gotye released, back in 2011, ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’.
Realism is not lacking and originality is not lacking, but the final set is of a remarkable and strange beauty at the same time. Beauty is achieved in its violence and that will not escape you at any time. Enjoy it because you really can’t ask for more from the genre. Jung Woo-sung has been able to take advantage of all his knowledge and background as an actor, taking him to the directing section with spectacular solvency.. ‘A man of Reason’ has nothing to envy to other films of the genre like ‘The man without a past‘ and it goes without saying that it is not at all eclipsed by the resounding ‘Hunt’, which he performs and takes to another level together with Lee Jung Jae. Big words. It only remains to hope that we can enjoy such a prosperous, varied and exceptional career in directing as the one he has given us to date as an actor.
‘A man of Reason’ broken down
- Edition and assembly
- The feeling, in crescendo, that the movie you just saw was unbeatable.