compelling, A Dirty Carnival shows off the strengths of South Korean
director Ha Yu with his ability to get the most out of his actors
and force a realism that allows us to identify to identify with the
characters and the internal anguish they face whilst committing acts
that they may not agree with.
I liked this movie
for a number of reasons, primarily the engrossing storyline, but
also the way the film has been treated in what I would suggest to be
a noir fashion. The look overall is gritty and the lighting superb
in an almost art house fashion of sorts.
Starring Jo In-seong
as Byung-doo, we see a young man who is forced to take over the
welfare of the family and as a result gets entrenched within the
Korean crime world when he offers to kill a corrupt court prosecutor
on the behalf of a President of one of the crime families in order
to win his trust within their secretive ranks.
This is a fairly
brutal movie that fully deserves it's rating. There is a realism to
the violence that makes it believable and sometimes sickening. There
is nothing glamorous about these acts and they are often carrying
out with a blunt deliberateness that makes you wince with each blow.
Our criminals are indeed just that; criminals who are very focused
on their work and achieving results. Gone are the buffoons who are
there for comedy value only from other movies or who have quirky
humorous personalities. Crime in this movie is a deadly business
A Dirty Carnival is
an adventure in storytelling craft. The script is very polished and
certainly not overdone. It gives you the feeling of being there but
at the same time wishing you were somewhere else, like the car crash
where you should look away but can't.
The release by
Madman is a tad on the light side when it comes to extras featuring
a theatrical trailer and a stills gallery. As much as I would have
liked to have seen more, the feature itself is more than enough
reason to pick it up.