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
The 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.This 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.
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