Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|A Bloody Aria|
Actors: Lee Mun-shik, Han Seok-gyu, Oh Dal-su, Kim Shi-hu, Cha Ye-Ryun
Director: Won Shin-Yun
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
On a day trip through the countryside, an aspiring opera singer flees to the woods to escape the advances of her lecherous professor and mentor. When a seemingly harmless local man offers her a ride to the bus station, she... more »
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Revenge served up cold with a side of dark humor
Michael Mccarthy | Austin, Tx | 02/28/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"A Bloody Aria is a disturbing look into the ongoing cycle of violence and bullying in Korea. It has no hero or even anti-hero, only protagonists and victims often one in the same. The story begins with a professor driving with a former student taking her to a remote destination with malintentions. A chain of events come into play bringing forth several other "country folk" characters that will lead to a tension filled explosion of violence linked to bullying and institutions such as the military.
The film is primarily a bleak revenge flick with offbeat characters and dark humor. The director conveys his views on violence in Korea through bullying and the circle that evolves from it. Filmed primarily in one location the story is still engaging for the simple fact you have no idea how these characters are going to react next. However, the film seems to think it's a little more clever than it is involving the twists that come into fruition. I figured one major twist out within the first 15 minutes of the film and the other large twist was hard to believe or at least hard to believably comprehend the character's actions and emotions. Some of the subplots such as the rat poison and introduction of a gun fall flat. I enjoyed the film despite its flaws and look forward to what this director brings next."
Zack Davisson | Seattle, WA, USA | 07/30/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
""A Bloody Aria" ("Guta-yubalja-deul") is one of those movies. A harsh exposition of man's inhumanity to man. Like The Last House on the Left and I Spit On Your Grave it shows monsters disguised as people reveling in brutality for brutalities sake, in the pure pleasure of having physical and mental power over someone weaker than yourself.
The story is quite simple. A well-known opera singer and professor (Byeong-jun Lee) lures his attractive student (Ye-ryeon Cha) to a distant location in order to seduce her. Escaping from his attempt, she flees into the woods and finds her way to a small country road. Meanwhile, the professor's car is stuck on the sand, and he finds himself surrounded by a two local hillbilly types who, disgusted with his money and stuck-up city ways, decide to have some fun abusing and tormenting him. Out of the frying pan and into the fire, the student is picked up by a third hillbilly, who brings her back to the beach and makes a party with his friends. Nothing good happens from then on out.
Unlike the classic rape/revenge stories, however, "A Bloody Aria" is not merely an exposition of lust and slaughter. Atypical of the genre, the abuse is much more psychological, the threats carry more weight than the baseball bat wielded by one of the thugs, and the breaking down of individual wills is more the game. The hillbillies enjoy the power over those who think of themselves as "better", and want to stretch it out as long as they can. It is a horrible situation, and one that could realistically happen, given the resentment and hostility of the poor towards the rich. The professor is no angel, and his attempted rape of his student leaves him an unsympathetic figure. But the woman, his student, is an innocent who falls prey to both sides of the class division.
Director Shin-yeon Won creates an intimate portrait of fear and hate in "A Bloody Aria". He uses a muted pallet of color, achieving an interesting effect that somehow emphasizes the story. Almost the entire film is confined to a single setting, and the tension builds and builds as the hillbillies play with the two victims like cats with mice, never knowing when they are done just batting them around and when they will sink their teeth in. It can be quite hard to watch, and one almost wishes they would just stick the knife in and end the suffering rather than going for the pain every time.
Ostentatiously, there is a cultural and political theme at play as well. The cycle and psyche of the bully, a problem that affects many Asian cultures in a way that Western society couldn't even dream of, is shown in all its harsh light. Victim becomes abuser, and the weaker link seeks to find someone weaker so that they might become the tormenter and not the tormented. It is the kind of psychological abuse that leads to suicide just as a means of escape."