Thursday, August 26, 2010
Crying Fist - 哭泣的拳頭 又名: 赤搏之男
Crying Fist (哭泣的拳頭 又名: 赤搏之男) is a 2005 film out of Korea. The movie stars Choi Min-sik and Ryu Seung-beom.
The movie starts with Ryu Seung-beom as Yu Sang-hwan. Yu is a small time crook who burglarizes people for a living. Yu is always up for a fight and doesn't back down from anyone. Choi Min-sik plays Kang Tae-shik, a former elite boxer. Kang is forced to a life of a street entertainer to make money. Without going into specifics, these two have problems. Lots of problems. Problems with family. Problems with making a living. Problems. These two are also very impulsive and engage in self destructive behavior. However, when boxing becomes a focal point in their lives again, they actually stay focused and train really hard and stay out of trouble. Can boxing be the cure in their lives?
The two stars of the movie were at a crossroads when this movie came out in 2005. Choi was enjoying the limelight of Oldboy and Ryu Seung-beom was an up and coming young stud after Arahan. Both have had varying degrees of success since. Choi still remains a A-List Star and known to the international audience. Ryu has continued to stay busy, but is virtually unknown outside of Korea. Back in 2005, I really wanted to watch this movie. But due to lack of English subs, I was never not able to watch around its time of release. And it eventually fell off my radar. In fact, most Korean cinema fell off my radar from 2006 through 2009. I've slowly been getting back into and re-visted this when I found a version with English subs at a local video store.
And was I ever disappointed. In general, this movie was the reason I stopped watching Korean cinema back in 2006. It presented the 2 protagonist as 2 flawed people. Very flawed and with no real redeeming value. I didn't like them at the beginning of the film and I liked them less as the film ended. Nothing they did from the character development side made me cheer for them. If the boxing was the only thing to focus them, I felt no pity for them. Because they continue to be bastards that are highly unlikable. The boxing didn't change them, it just drew their attention for a moment.
Hey, if you like that kind of cinema, go for it. It does present a slice of life that seems based on reality and something you won't see much of in K-dramas. Gritty, violent, and intense for most of the film. Lots and lots of subplots to drive the main plot point.