On a fishing boat at sea, a 60-year old man has been raising a girl since she was a baby. It is agreed that they will get married on her 17th birthday, and she is 16 now. They live a quiet and secluded life, renting the boat to day fishermen and practicing strange divination rites. Their life changes when a teenage student comes aboard...
Jae-Young is an amateur prostitute who sleeps with men while her best friend Yeo-Jin "manages" her, fixing dates, taking care of the money and making sure the coast is clear. When Jae-Young... See full summary »
Some of the most controversial scenes in the film includes when Kang-do feeds the woman a piece of his own flesh from his thigh, and a scene when he molests her, and asking her "I came out of here? Can I go back in?". See more »
[grabbing between her legs]
I came out of here?
Here for sure?
[she nods again]
Really? Then can I go back in?
See more »
The surreal ending is a letdown for the cold realism of this dark drama
Pieta is a dark drama by famous director Kim Ki Duk that has been chosen to represent South Korea at the 2013 Academy Awards.
The story is quickly told. A lonesome guy works for a brutal loan shark and destroys the existence of those who aren't able to pay their debts. One day, an old woman enters his life and claims to be his mother. In the beginning, he refuses to talk to that stranger but as the brutal man in his early thirties has been abandoned as a child, he starts having some serious doubts about the identity of that mysterious woman that does everything to get closer to him. Soon, they share their apartment together and develop a more profound relationship. The brutal gangster starts reconsidering his violent lifestyle and is doing his job with less conviction than before before he ultimately loses it. One day, the old woman disappears and he goes on a journey through his bleak past by facing his demons to find that woman who has given a new sens to his life.
The strongest point of the movie is without a doubt its negative atmosphere. The director creates many haunting images and still lifes that portray the desperate situation of the brutal main character. One can see animal carcasses as well as cold, grey and industrial garages all around his apartment. Many scenes show how he tortures people, masturbates or tries to rape a woman. These moments are very intense and show the desolate state of mind and soul that this lonesome guy lives with. That's why it's so interesting to see his slow change of mind and how he discovers emotions he has never had before after meeting that strange old woman that claims to be his mother. That's where this movie gets challenging, profound and even philosophical. That being said, the acting of the two main characters is rather credible and very good which keeps the attention high until the end of the movie.
The biggest flaw of this film is though definitely its predictable story line and the lack of surprises in the movie. Another letdown is the last quarter of the film where the acting and script gets less credible and where the main actor starts acting more and more stupid. The last scenes of the movie feel therefor quite surreal and break with the cold realism that has dominated the first three quarters of the film. The final moments are really a letdown in my opinion. With a better ending, this flick would have deserved one or even two points more even though the story is rather thin at some points but you should make up your own mind about this controversial and questionable ending.
In the end, fans of South Korean cinema and of challenging dark dramas shouldn't miss this movie and will surely enjoy it. For anybody else, this movie might be entertaining thanks to a good acting but definitely not impressive at all. I'm glad I saw the film but I wouldn't recommend a purchase and I probably wouldn't watch it again anytime soon.
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