In this rebuttal for the Shootout At High Noon Marathon I will struggle for things to say, agreement can do that to you!
Remember gentle folk, for a better understanding of what I am writing below go and read what Edgar had to say about the movie in question at Between The Seats.
Oh Edgar, it appears we have once again ignored the brilliant words of Admiral Ackbar and fallen into a trap. We keep picking movies that we both enjoy, but to be honest if the trap involves the both of us watching great movies then it’s a trap I want to fall into over and over again. Still, I blame you for this Edgar, because you are Canadian, French-Canadian to be specific, so it has to be your fault, no? All blame, aside, the blame is still yours though, we have agreed almost entirely this time and that leaves me with very few areas to tackle.
Your main criticism is of the character Park-do Won as portrayed by Woo-sung Jung. I think my review makes it obvious that I don’t share your criticism, in fact I think the complete opposite of you. Park-do Won isn’t flashy and that makes him seem like the lesser of the three leads. That view doesn’t take into account what the purpose is of Park-do Won throughout the film. He is the anchor of the film, the lone bit of normalcy that the viewer is meant to latch on to. In order to ensure that Jee-woon Kim keeps him pedestrian in everything but his capabilities as a bounty hunter. This provides a nice contrast to the other two leads, and really, in all three leads we are given very little back story, their personalities are what drive them. If you don’t view the movie or the characters that way I can understand your reaction, but the way I interpreted the characters in the film led me to this belief and I think it is quite sound my friend.
The only area of contention I have with your wonderfully written review is the issue of length. You, rather astutely, knew that I would take umbrage with this point. Where you see a movie that is a few minutes too long I see a movie that is just long enough. In Joheunnom Nabbeunnom Isanghannom Mr. Kim has crafted the rare tale that meshes perfectly with its length. In the opening we go from an intimate scene to a larger vista based scene. The key when it comes to these scenes is that it expresses from the onset that Mr. Kim is making a grandiose movie that knows how to be intimate at the same time. In particular, the scene about dreams between Park-do Won and Yoon Tae-goo that you spoke of in your review ties into the personality based storytelling I talked of earlier. It’s an intimate scene, bringing the scope of Joheunnom Nabbeunnom Isanghannom to a finer focus. It’s also a scene that lets the viewer really pay attention to the personalities of two of the leads and see the inherent differences between them and by extension the third lead. You see an unnecessary scene that creates a movie that is too long. I see an essential scene that is part of a film that is just the right length.
That’s all I have for this rebuttal, in all other areas we are in agreement. Like I said at the beginning of this rebuttal, we have fallen into the trap of picking good movies and mostly agreeing on them. But, that’s not a bad trap because it means we’re watching good movies and that is always a great thing. No doubt you will probably come up with a much more inventive rebuttal than what I have provided on my little site. But, I am content in the fact that I have most likely won yet another round in our series of rebuttals (last round being the exception, I will give you that). I am the good, the bad, and the weird to your just plain ordinary, or in other terms I am the awesome sauce to your vanilla extract, oh yeah, I went there.
Read what Edgar had to say at Between The Seats.