THE MERCILESS Is An Epitome Of A Well Executed Script | Film Review | 12th London Korean Film Festival 2017

THE MERCILESS Is An Epitome Of A Well Executed Script With Unexpected Plot Twists And Brilliant Performances.

Having made The Beat Goes On(2012) a musical drama and Watcha Wearin’?(2012) a romantic comedy, no one would have expected director Byung Sung-hyung to enter the realm of crime films dealing with ruthless gangsters in his third film THE MERCILESS. By placing a star studded cast which includes Lee Kyoung-young, Kim Hee-yon, Sol Kyung-gu, Jeon Hye-jin and the young halyu star Im Si-wan, the director has proved himself to be one of the best very early in his feature film making career. THE MERCILESS Is An Epitome Of A Well Executed Script

As the veteran French Director Jean Luc Godard stated that ‘A film should have a beginning, a middle and an end, but not necessarily in that order’, Byung Sung-hyun follows this advice by telling the story in different timescales which revolve around Before, During and After prison time. We are taken along on a journey observing the lives of different characters whose stories always run parallel to each others, merging as one in different places and then breaking off. Although the idea of shifting through different timescales is a brilliant one, but it happens so often that unless the viewers remember which time they are now in, they would definitely get confused.

THE MERCILESS Is An Epitome Of A Well Executed ScriptThe film starts off with actor Kim Sung-oh, a brilliant actor in my vew, having a quiet and peaceful conversation, when all of a sudden violence ensues. Voila, there is a plot twist just a couple of minutes into the movie. That is where the director starts off with the long and complex plot, which is more of a jigsaw puzzle with a thousand pieces to put together. There are more plot twists in this film than there are in any other South Korean crime film combined. Each character has a secret which is uncovered one by one, gradually making the film interesting all the way till the end credits start to roll.
Han Jae-ho (Sol Kyung-gu) is a tough man who likes to stay near the top of the hierarchical pyramid of the organised crime organisation. His face resembles that of a tragic Greek hero whose sharp little giggles counter the mood that his outward appearance shows. Jo Hyun-soo (Im Si-wan) finds himself making a deal with the devil. His loyalty to fellow inmate Han Jae-ho rewards him with an equal position in the organisation. Ko Byung-chul (Lee Kyoung-young) sits on the throne like an invincible king with Kyo Byung-gab (Kim Hee-won) being a Wormtongue to him, whose sweet words keep him near the highest position. Chun In-sook (Jeon Hye-jin) is a very confident police officer. Her power in a way pulls the strings of nearly all the characters around her.THE MERCILESS Is An Epitome Of A Well Executed ScriptThis film proves itself to be an excellent work of a well written script. The execution is superb. From among the actors, the young Im Si-wan who is also a singer, gives a performance so perfect that it has critics praising him. The director’s brilliant work had the 2017 Cannes Film Festival audience giving it a seven minute standing ovation. It will no doubt go up in the list of best ever crime films in the history of world cinema. I draw to my conclusion by saying that the crime genre can’t get better than this.

Writer: Adnan Kundi
Images: CJ Entertainment + Provided by London Korean Film Festival Press
YouTube Video: CJ Entertainment
THE MERCILESS Is An Epitome Of A Well Executed Script

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