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'Bang' Ironically Fails on Rules

2007/03/15 | 592 views | Permalink | Source

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By Kim Tae-jong
Staff Reporter

New film "Big Bang" (Ssonda) is a story about a man, who tries to set himself free by breaking all the rules that have restricted him his entire life by deviating from them, just for one day.

It aims to criticize the ironical world where being honest is often seen as being foolish and the fact that the world is full of rules but those who tactfully dodge them for their own sake always tend to win.

In the beginning, the main character's antisocial behavior provides the audience some vicarious satisfaction. However, as the movie progresses it becomes clear it lacks the necessary rules for the workings of a good plot.

Directed by Park Jeong-woo, the film revolves around Park Man-su (played by Kam Woo-sung), who lives his life according to a set of rules. He abides by them strictly because of his strict-minded father's influence.

He has never jaywalked, sped or been late for work. But this man of rules is not well received anywhere including his home and office because of his lack of flexibility.

One day, his wife asks for a divorce because of her boring life and he is sacked because his corrupt boss hates him.

On his way home, he decides to break rules and do some bad things, which he has never tried before.

He swears at passers-by, kicks signboards and pees on the street. As luck would have it, he is caught by a zealous policeman. The policeman takes him to a police station to teach him a hard lesson.

But things turn for the worse when he meets Yang Chul-gon (by Kim Soo-ro), an employed man with 15 previous convictions, who finds it more comfortable to be behind bars.

Yang offers the desperate and timid Park help to dodge the situation, but things go awry when he accidentally hurts a policemen while trying to escape.

Through a series of mishaps, Park and Yang escape from the police but they happen to steal a gun and police car, with which they also try their hand at punishing "law dodgers" themselves.

They eventually find themselves trapped on all sides. The punishment of 50,000 won fine for a misdemeanor has now turned into a potential life sentence.

The movie has some hilarious moments thanks to the fine job done by the two veteran actors. If you are a big fan of Kim, who is well known for his comic characters in his previous works, you won't be disappointed.

But the problem with the film is that it seems bound for nowhere. The two main characters' deviation gets worse and worse to a point beyond redemption.

As they become involved in bigger and more serious crimes and accidents, you begin to wonder how they will eventually extricate themselves from all the troubles they have created.

The movie doesn't seem to take the audience anywhere close to its intended destination. The result is simply a feeling of being lost.

Two and half stars.

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