Starring: Jeong Wung-In, Kang Su-Yeon, Choi Jeong-Yun
Director: Park Seung-Bae
Studio: L & C Media
About This DVD
The Circle is one of the oddest films to come out this year. A combination of horror, romance, courtroom drama and unintentional comedy, the film will keep audiences wondering what this confusing ride is all about.
The film starts out with a bang, with the capture of Cho Myong-gu (Jeong Wung-in), a multiple murderer who has feasted on six women. A painter by trade, Cho likes to draw colorful abstract patterns on his victims' bodies before his meal.
So what makes this artistically inclined cannibal tick? The movie spends a large part of its 110 minutes on that question, with the attorneys arguing over the killer's sanity. The prosecutor (Kang Su-yeon), a tough no-nonsense woman who literally butts heads to get her way, is aiming for the creep's death sentence.
The defense attorney (Chon Chae-ryong), on the other hand, makes a rather unusual argument on behalf of his client. He contends that Cho is possessed by the soul of Gwang-rim, who in the 1930s was involved in a deadly affair with a "kisaengs" (Korean for geisha). In his attempt to convince the judge, the attorney seeks the help of psychics, hypnotists and a wealth of circumstantial evidence that would be thrown out of most courts.
Though ludicrous, these courtroom scenes are in fact the most entertaining part of the film; the analytical arguments about the supernatural could have come from a lost X-Files episode. There's also a strong tabloid sensibility about all of this, with a matching pair of severed genitals playing a very important part in the film.
Keeping the film together is Jung's portrayal of the psycho, who, if one looks past his perversions, could be one of the nicest and sweetest serial killers around. Known as a comedic actor, Jung seems to really be enjoying himself in this semi-serious role, and his enthusiasm keeps this movie going.
Somewhere near the halfway point, the movie begins to take itself seriously, at the expense of the plot and the audience. Without notice, "Circle" suddenly decides that it's a romance - never mind the six women Cho has already digested - and proceeds to go back in time to tell the story of the ill-fated lovers.
|DD 5.1 Surround, DTS 6.1, DD 2.0 Stereo
|Widescreen 1.85:1 (Anamorphic)
|Trailer, Interview, Cast & Crew