Crying Fist (Jumeogi Unda) (2005) (Korea)
Director: Ryu Seung Wan
Cast: Choi Min Sik, Ryu Seung Beom
In Korea Daejong Film Awards (Grand Bell Awards) 2005, it won the Special Jury Award and Best Supporting Actress Award .
Noteworthy, it was nominated for a record of 12 awards, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actresses, etc
Also, at Cannes Film Festival 2005, it received the FIPRESCI Award (for Directors' Fortnight)
The official website (in Korean) is here
The story of two men is run in separate trajectories. In one, Gang Tae Shik used to be a Silver medalist in the Asian Games. He had however lost his glamour and was down and out, trying to earn money by being a human punching bag on the street. In another, Woo Sang Hwan, a delinquent was filled with rage, committing crimes Neither character knew the other, and expectedly, they had to meet eventually yup, you guess it they finally met at the boxing championship in the final scenes BUT who will win? Will Gang be advantaged because of his better skills or will he lose because age was catching up on him? Will Yoo win because he was young with powerful punches or will he lose because he lacked experience and was too fired up? Hiaks hiaks hiaks I shant give it away
What is good
-- Both characters/stories try to buy the audience in, such that at the end, you may have some struggle as to who you prefer winning both are really down and out both desperately need to win both need some hope in life so, who should you root for?
* Hmmm as for me, I think the story about Gang Tae Shik is more compelling *
-- Why is it such a box office hit in Korea?
I speculate that older men will be able to identify with the life of Gang (about career, about family, about stress, etc) while younger men will also be able to identify with the life of Yoo (about life, about society, about rage and bitterness, etc) . Even women would be able to identify guys in those roles too
-- In addition, I thought the harsh realism depicted in Gangs story was very well captured
-- At the end, some issues that provoke thoughts are what is hope? What is a win? What is family? What is friendship?
What may be problematic for some
-- If at all, it will be the overdose of boxing films in this recent year
-- Some may also try to dissect each episode/vignette and wonder if anything is novel. Well, stories about underdogs are too prevalent (esp. if you have watched too many movies hiaks hiaks ).
* In my humble opinion, it is not about dissecting individual events, but the way the film pieces them together makes it worth watching! *
-- Occasionally, one may find the film a bit too long
-- Although it is rather commercial (i.e., it will please mainstream audience), I still recommend the film!
-- and do tell me who you rooted for
Hey, the director Ryu Seung Wan and Ryu Seung Beom are real life brothers