Shinema Saturday: Breathless 똥파리(2008)

S. Korean Movie, Breathless {2008}Breathless{똥파리 Ddongpari} is a 2008 S. Korean Film written, directed & edited by Yang Ik-June, who also starred as the lead character. The film is a semi autobiography of Ik-June’s life and if that is the case, I have a new-found respect for the awesomeness that is Yang Ik-June.

Breathless is about Sang Hoon ,who has more than enough of a violent attitude and temper that could be attributed to the hard knock life he had as a young child.  He doesn’t take much to set him off. He will pimp slap you for just looking at him with the side eye so you can imagine much of this film will show him kicking ass and not worrying about names at all.  He has the perfect job, a debt collector. He gets paid to beat up people and he is also known for beating up his own co-workers.  {he needs a consult and fast}. Along his journey, he befriends a high school student, who is just as broken and smart mouth as Sang Hoon. He meets Yeon-Hee and they form a friendship but not before knocking her unconscious during their first meeting.  This movie is more in-depth and a bit more serious than my short synopsis and well worth a movie night.

My thoughts

I read the plot summary before I watched the movie and that made me a bit bias to the character, Sang Hoon.  If it wasn’t for knowing why he is the way he is, I wouldn’t have care much for him in the beginning of the movie.  Hmmm, but then again, being that Yang Ik June is playing the character, I may have given a pass to Sang Hoon 🙂

First, I should warn you. If you are easily offended by cursing and violence, then PLEASE stay away from this movie.  I am not exaggerating when I say that 90% of this movie involves cursing. {that’s  a bit too nice @ 90%} . The violence level should be slightly lower but not by much.

Breathless 2008 {Korean}

Kim Kkot Bi as Yeon Hee & Yang Ik June as Sang Hoon

As you may have guessed, I am a big fan of Yang Ik June.  His acting style is awesome and he engulfed himself into his character so well that you forget that Sang Hoon is a bit fictional.  Ik June’s chemistry with the cast is very normal and effortless especially with the female lead, Kim Kkot Bi { as Yeon Hee} Their interaction was very intense as we saw their unconventional friendship form.

The rest of the cast consisted of Jung Man Shik {as Man Shik}, Lee Hwan {as Young Jae}, Yun Seung Hun {as Hwan Kyu}, Kim Hee Su {as Yeong In}, Park Jung Sun {as Seung Chul, Sang Hoon’s father}, Lee Seung Yeon {as Hyeon Seo, Sang Hoon’s sister}.  Without this supporting cast, I don’t think the story would have gotten through as strong as it did.

The tone and the mood of the story line is very dismal and intimate. You get to experience the lives of the characters and their interactions up close and personal.  After discovering the Sang Hoon’s back story, you honestly feel sorry and pity for him and you start to wish for a better life for him.  The most important part of this film is the father and son scenes between Sang Hoo and Seung Chul. Another warning. They are a bit disturbing to watch but absolutely understandable after finding out the history.

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie up until the ending. I felt it could have been a bit better and not ended as an art house type of feel but this is an independent production and as you know, independent films are an “any thing goes” business.

There are very important lessons that can be learned from this movie.

Be aware of the life you live, because the way you live is the way you die.

That is one lesson that resonated through this movie for me. There are a few others but you have to see the movie to get them 🙂




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