Korean Movie, “Asura”: The City of Madness

For some reasons or other, though I do not care much for so-called violent movies like “Outrage” directed by Takeshi Kitano, I ended up in watching this Korean movie, “Asura.”  This may be because there are many great aspects of Korean movies.  First of all, great quality of motion pictures.  The four main actors play their roles with very unique, well-honed talents.  They act tremendously well.

I even wonder if we have any great actors like them in Japan.  This movie depicts dirty human relationships that are intricately intertwined among the four main characters: a corrupted mayor who controls the entire town, a crooked cop who covers up for the mayor for dirty money, a scoundrel prosecutor who wants to arrest the mayor and the cop, and an ex-rookie cop who used to respect his senior detective but gradually steeped in evil working for the mayor.  The exquisite script has surely enabled each character to perform its role successfully.

Violence itself may not be so different from Japanese movies but this movie thoroughly depicts conflicts, weakness and foolishness of human beings that led to the point of violence.  Good persons do not appear in this movie; not even a single one which is a distinguishing feature of this movie.  All the characters are bad, evil against evil, violence vs conspiracy, betrayal vs threat; all those conflicts are sad.  But maybe because of the great performance of actors, audience will find themselves at the end of the movie that they are not feeling clouded but rather realize how refreshing entertainment this movie was.

The four actors of leading characters play different roles in the movies they were featured.  They devote all their energy to act each time, which makes me moved every time and that’s why I don’t get bored.  No matter how seriously I explain, I cannot fully transmit my enthusiasm unless you watch this movie.  My favorite actors are Hwang Jung-min and Jung Woo-sung.  They’ve acted in many other movies and performed in different roles and I’m sure they will continue to, which is why I cannot miss.  My words are not good enough.  I just want to recommend many of you to watch this movie at the theater.