Starring: Choi Min-Sik, Ryu Seung-Beom, Im Won-Hee
Director: Ryu Seung-Wan
Studio: Enter One
About This DVD
Ryu Seung-beom, right, plays a young man who finds in boxing an outlet for his rage in "Crying Fist." It's official. Director Ryu Seung-wan has firmly entrenched himself in the mainstream and the domestic movie world is all the better for it. Most people familiar with Ryoo's violent and angst-filled early films would have expected the director to stay the arthouse darling, a cross between Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese. But then Ryu surprised all (and disappointed some) by making one of last year's most entertaining and mainstream films - the Taoist superhero fest "Arahan." Ryu is back, and his newest, "Crying Fist (Chumogi Unda)," packs a considerable punch. The film returns to the darker and moodier palette of earlier works, but with the knowledge and skills gained from making the technically sophisticated "Arahan."
"Crying Fist" is actually two fists, or more accurately, two pairs of fists. The film follows the separate trajectories of two down-and-out men who look to boxing to change their lives, and their eventual collision.
In one corner, we have Sang-hwan (Ryu Seung-beom), a bitter and angry young man with a huge chip on his shoulder. Despite the efforts of his father, Sang-hwan's criminal behavior finally lands him in juvenile prison. There, at what seems to be the lowest moment in his young life, a guard turns him towards boxing to channel his rage against the world.
In the other corner is Tae-sik (Choi Min-sik), a middle-aged man whose moment of glory came long ago, when he won the silver medal as an amateur boxer at the Asian Games. But now, with his family life falling apart due to mounting debt, he earns his income as a novelty act, standing out in the street and offering up his body as a punching bag to passersby for money.
The moviegoer knows that at some point the two characters will end up meeting inside the ring, but as the saying goes, it's not the destination but the journey that matters.
The film alternates between these two characters, as they struggle just to survive and keep desperation at bay. Ryu, the younger brother of the director, and Choi, the master of angst roles like "Old Boy," are equally wonderful in their respective roles. And while they share little actual time on screen, "Crying Fist" does an excellent job weaving their powerful performances together and showing the characters as two sides of the same sad coin.
"Crying Fist" is as violent and gritty as anything Ryoo has made, but unlike his earlier films, the director is learning to temper the fury with a human side. The result is a mix of rage and sadness that is human drama at its best, mainstream or otherwise.
|Audio Format:||DTS, DD 5.1 Surround, DD 2.0 Stereo|
|Video Format:||Widescreen 2.35:1 (Anamorphic)|
|Running Time:||135 / 150|
|Special Features:||DISC 1:
- Feature Film
- 2 Audio Commentaries
- Boxer's Life
- Making of
- Music Video
- Multi Angle Ending Scenes
|Availability:||Usually ships in 5-10 days|