I Saw the Devil (2010)
After much badgering, my very dear friend, Arty, finally got me to watch this movie. I am still trying to take it all in. It took me about 3 hours to watch a 2 hour movie. The film is about a secret agent whose fiancée is murdered by a psychopathic serial killer and vows to get revenge.
The base plot is not anything new, but on some level the film becomes very existential. There comes a point where the main character realizes that even if he does kill the murderer, he won’t feel any better about the turn his life took when his fiancée was killed.
Quite frankly, I thought the film to be a little too long for my liking and for the simplicity of the plot. At some point it just becomes torture porn because of its excessive graphic violence. The secret agent plants a tracking device on the serial killer after their first encounter and continues to follow him and foil his subsequent attempts to rape and murder young girls FOR TWO HOURS!
I have mixed feelings on this one. I think this is the type of story I would rather read than watch so I could at least get insight on our quiet antihero’s thinking. I mean, he kills with a lot of conviction, but he wasn’t always a killer himself.
I think what makes this film stand out from the rest of the typical revenge films is the existential crisis element of it. While subtle, the question of morality and why people do things is always looming and almost apparent in the characters’ eyes. It’s worth watching if you’re into thrillers; just make sure you have a strong enough stomach for it. Oh, also, it’s Korean so it’s that much more awesome!