I Saw the Devil – Bloody Korean Gem

Psychopathic killer Kyung-chul fondling his au naturel victim’s arms:

Your skin is so soft. Looks like it’ll be easy.

Bleeding, battered young woman Joo-yeo: Please don’t kill me.

Kyung-chul: Why not?

Joo-yeo cries: I’m pregnant. Please, let me live.

Kyung-chul pauses for a second, lifts his hand high and brings the knife down swiftly, brutally chopping off Joo-yeo’s hands, head, ear and hacking the girl to pieces.

– Just one of many chilling scenes from I Saw the Devil

To all you retarded SOBs that dare tell us, even if only every once in a while, that Indians too make good movies, we say to all ye putzheads: Watch South Korean film-maker Kim Ji-woon’s movies.

And soon you’ll all be looking for long ropes that can withstand your bloated egos torsos.

Since a lot of Indian movie buffs are ignoramuses who think the world begins with Bollywood’s ‘Ready‘ criminal Salman Khan and ends with the Kollywood ‘Kaavalan‘ Vijay, some education is in order.

Boring Habit

Kim Ji-woon is a 47-year-old film-director and screenplay writer, deservedly acclaimed for the high quality of his movies.

The Korean director has developed a rather boring, predictable record of picking up awards/nominations galore each time he puts out a movie.

A few months back, we watched his The Good, the Bad and the Weird and relished it a lot.

So, we were more than eager to watch his latest movie I Saw the Devil, reports of gory, chilling violence notwithstanding.

I Saw the Devil has recently made it to Netflix in both DVD and Instant Play formats, which means you can watch it on your PC, laptop, iPad or on TV with a Roku-like device (on an iPad 2, I Saw the Devil looks stunning).

So, the other day we fixed ourselves a large drink and sat down to see I Saw the Devil:


‘Damn Bitches in the world are always against me’ – Kyung-chul

I Saw the Devil – Stop, Pussies

Let’s caution you right now: I Saw the Devil is not for the pussies and all ye faint-hearted, lily-livered poltroons.

There’s an orgy of violence in the movie, much of it of the blood-curdling and occasionally sickening variety.

After all, this is a movie about a relentless fight till the end between a cop bent on revenge and a sadistic, psychopathic serial killer who just can’t stop his brutal killing and raping.

But beneath the patina of chilling violence and the motive of revenge driving it, there’s a lot to like about I Saw the Devil.

* The story (written by Park Hoon-jung) is extremely compelling. After a young woman is killed, her police officer fiancee launches a monomaniacal hunt to identify the psychopathic killer and make the perpetrator pay a heavy price for the death of his girl-friend. With a grim, unsmiling countenance the police officer mounts a revenge quest that has some horrifying, unanticipated consequences.

* The photography is bewitching. Cinematographer Lee Mo-gae has done an amazing job of capturing not merely the violence, but the terror, the hatred, the puzzling behavior and revenge driving the violence of the two main characters. Often, the photography in a movie fails to tell a convincing story, leaving the burden entirely on the dialogs. But in I Saw the Devil, the photography (through dexterous use of lighting) creates magic and works in tandem with the dialogs. A rara avis.

* The acting, particularly by Choi Min-sik, who plays the psychopathic, sadistic killer Kyung-chul, is brilliant. Choi Min-sik’s performance in a strongly negative role reminded us of Heath Ledger’s swan song in the Dark Knight. Lee Byung-hun, who plays the police officer Soo-hyun does a fine job too.

Movie makers often forget that the film business is at the end of the day about powerful images, a gripping story and solid acting. A lot of directors can’t be bothered to pay attention to any of the elements and many of them do not even try to coax some acting from their actors.

It’s to Kim Ji-woon’s credit that he dazzles on all three counts in I Saw the Devil.

SearchIndia.com strongly recommends this remarkable Korean film I Saw the Devil.

13 Responses to "I Saw the Devil – Bloody Korean Gem"

  1. rama dasa   June 13, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    off topic:walmart just got it’s @$$ handed to itself on a silver multi-million dollar platter recently

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43384915/ns/business-us_business/?GT1=43001

    this is why we should make it mandatory for all companies to have unions!

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    1. Great news.

    Disgusting SOBs forced employees to work off-the-clock.

    2. Agree 100% with you on the unions.

    If Americans had any brains, they’d all support unions, kick out illegal immigrants and get Congress to impose a tax on outsourcing!

    • abhi220   June 14, 2011 at 6:21 pm

      @ SI: 2. Agree 100% with you on the unions.

      I guess you are referring to having unions in US companies and not any Indian companies. It would be a nightmare if unions were to be introduced in IT companies.

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      All companies, including IT firms, ought to have unions.

      • abhi220   June 15, 2011 at 12:05 pm

        Unions might work in US and here.

        But in India there would be union leaders and secretaries who will end up even doing the recuritment.

        Their uncles and aunties will be talking to the client.

        There would be strikes every month for raise and what not. How about Indefinite strikes until all employees’ demands are fulfilled?

        Bribes will be everywhere, and It wouldn’t matter even if you were an IIT passout.

        It would do you good for sure since there will not be anymore outsourcing.

        I am fine with having Unions if there is a guarantee that it would be corrupt free and will focus only on employee satisfaction which is next to impossible.

        SearchIndia.com Responds:

        Let’s get real, shall we.

        Big corporations are a Million times more corrupt than unions.

        Why aren’t you insisting on high ethical standards for corporations?

        Wipro bribed World Bank!

        Infosys got into trouble with California Labor Dept.

        Satyam was corrupt to the core

        Infosys senior exec Phanish Murthy got into big trouble with a girl & had to quit.

        Surely, these are the proverbial tip of the gigantic corporate iceberg.

        And you want guarantees that unions won’t be corrupt.

        Ha ha ha ha!

        • abhi220   June 15, 2011 at 1:33 pm

          These are things which I am aware of. You are deviating from the topic.

          When did I say that these companies are not corrupt? I work in one of them and very well know.

          I don’t know how unions will save us from corruption in the above menitoned levels.

          Our discussion was not about corruption, but how useful these unions would be to us employees.

          I don’t need any guarantee on any corrupt free Union. I had mentioned it as impossible. I was just making a point. All I am saying is that I don’t need a union to help ME. It would only make things worse for sure.

          So you believe that when you weigh in the pros and cons(Indian unions), it would only help us employees. In what ways would that be?

          All companies are profit oriented and they make money when they have people who know their job.

          Unions would be working for their personal profits. You know which all that would be. Which would inturn affect the profit of the company and there goes our benefits and raise.

          I don’t know what your profession was. I am certain that you never worked for any company. Most likely a lawyer/doctor and you must have been really good at it.

          SearchIndia.com Responds:

          Our point is simple. In an exploitative corporate environment, unions are the best defense for the defenseless workers.

          Without unions, the balance of power (which is everything in life) is completely tilted in favor of employers.

          Are unions free of corruption? Of course, not. Like any other social organization, they too are susceptible to the various forces impinging upon them.

          Where unions are helpful is in
          leveling the playing field now overwhelmingly in favor of the employers/corporations.

          • abhi220   June 15, 2011 at 4:13 pm

            I understand what you are trying to say. But that is an ideal case which may work in North America.

            I was just saying that it is not possible in India.

            There needs to be an understanding and a balance between Unions and Corporations which will never exist there.

            Just read this
            http://www.hrindya.com/nokku-kooli-in-kerala-arrested-development/

            This is not just an odd case. The same thing happened with my room mate when he was moving in to his new house. How worse can it get?

            SearchIndia.com Responds:

            Just read the article in your link.

            Aware of similar developments when we lived in India.

            Does not change our opinion that unions are necessary, at times even a necessary evil.

            Workers worldwide are getting a raw deal. Only some sectors like IT, pharma, finance etc are seeing good wages.

          • Naveen   June 15, 2011 at 6:26 pm

            //Where unions are helpful is in leveling the playing field now overwhelmingly in favor of the employers/corporations.//

            While this is true for certain type of Industries I am not sure if it holds good for all. It is quite the other way around for IT industry and other new economy companies in India. Employees hold the employer to ranson for most part in these companies. It is only during economic downturns and recessions that the balance titles ever so little towards employers.

            The idea of unions is linked to demand and supply. If you ask a mill worker then he/she would strongly favor unions an IT professional may totally detest the idea.

            SearchIndia.com Responds:

            IT is a small island.

            And even there unionization would have helped to distribute stock options to employees much earlier. Look at the history of Wipro & TCS and see when they issued stock options to employees.

    • Naveen   June 15, 2011 at 6:17 pm

      SI – Why you like the idea of Unions?

      My little knowledge about Unions is based on what I have seen or heard in India, which is all bad. Unions in India are typically associated with Communism and it is used as a regressive tool to halt new ideas and progress.

      Please enlighten us with your views.

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      1. You write: Why you like the idea of Unions?

      Capitalism rests on the fundamental premise of exploitation of labor and capital for profit.

      It’s fundamentally an extremely unequal relationship where the owner of capital and labor can relentlessly push down labor costs through mechanization, outsourcing (IBM, HP, Oracle, GE, Apple), child labor (Nike) and countless other means irrespective of moral and ethical implications.

      Outsourcing of jobs to India from the U.S. to the detriment of American labor is the perfect example. Over the last 3 decades, unions have become impotent in the U.S. and simultaneously real wages of most Americans has remained stagnant or fallen over the same period. Income Inequality in the U.S. has also currently reached stratospheric heights in the same period. (Stats for the above arguments are easily available via a Google search.)

      Also, it’s no coincidence that outsourcing of millions of American manufacturing jobs and service sector jobs to China and India/Philippines respectively happened when the power of unions in the U.S. was at its nadir and union-bashing (by Right-wing media like Fox) at its crest.

      Until recently, a lot of Wal-Mart workers were relying on Medicaid for healthcare. It’s no secret that WalMart is one of the largest and one of the most profitable companies in America. WalMart is non-unionized and, yes, WalMart is also guilty of several serious abuses of workers (for instance, forcing workers to work off the clock i.e. not paying wages for work).

      Abuse of labor happens because workers are not in a position to fight back in the absence of a collective bargaining force and a union to represent their interests.

      America is an excellent case-story of what happens when unions are emasculated. Even when U.S. unemployment is
      9.1%, H1B/L1 workers continue to flood our cities.

      Future historians will be amazed that American workers consented to their eventual pauperization by not joining unions or aggressively seeking to form unions when their most basic interests were under threat.

      Without unions, workers eventually get screwed badly in any economic system – Socialist, Capitalist or Mixed Economy.

      As we wrote earlier, unions alleviate to some extent the balance of power issue where the worker finds himself at a complete disadvantage.

      2. You write: Unions in India are typically associated with Communism and it is used as a regressive tool to halt new ideas and progress.

      Unions have suffered from a negative public image, largely due to media (mis)portrayal of them as thugs, hooligans and stooges of the Communist party.

      That, of course, is hogwash and the misrepresentation successful because of ignorance of citizens.

      One of India’s largest unions INTUC is actually affiliated with the Congress party.

  2. iamsumu2   June 13, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    I will make it a point to view this film.

    Choi Min-sik is the lead in one of the most brilliant Korean films in the last decade Oldboy. It’s a movie I strongly recommend you (though you would do well to avoid the Indian remake Zinda).

    The story telling and narration leading to the climax is very gripping.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    We’ll definitely watch Oldboy. It’s been on our list for a long time.

    Now that we know that Choi Min-sik played the principal character Oh Dae-su in Oldboy, we’re determined to see it soon.

    BTW, we’ve already seen the Bollywood version Zinda (pre-SI blog days).

    Just checked, Oldboy is on Netflix Instant Play. Makes it easier.

    • vjcool   June 15, 2011 at 1:51 am

      thought you would have watched OldBoy already…

  3. unknownvirus   September 2, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    Saw this movie today..

    Brilliant!

    BTW.long time.. Howdy

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Howdy malware. Glad you liked the film.

  4. araj   September 15, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    They say RGV copied this movie as it is and made his ‘Anukshanam’ casting Manchi Vishnu as the police officer… the film has a tagline too – ‘Ammayilu Jagratta’ …………

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Wiki says the movie is “Inspired by a real life incident.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anukshanam

    I thought RGV makes bad movies …Not sure if he makes stolen movies.

    RGV has a curious mind and seems better read/widely read than a lot of people in the Indian film universe (hasn’t helped him much though in his film work).

    Since neither of us has watched Anukshanam, it’s better to keep an open mind. I do agree that Indian film directors tend to get easily ‘inspired.’

  5. araj   September 15, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    “……….Not sure if he makes stolen movies”

    Doesn’t make stolen movies??? RGV is a self-confessed copycat. He openly brags about it in his numerous interviews. But what he doesn’t admit as often is that he is also an incorrigible re-cyclist of the things he copies. He first copied Godfather to make Gayam in 1993. Amazingly, he recycled some of the scenes from Gayam in Sarkar, which was made about 13 years after Gayam. He recycles dialogues too sometimes. A Urmila’s dialog in Antham, 1992 was reproduced in Rowdy,2014. However, the guy is openly proud of his copying and recycling. He says people are hardly aware how ‘subtly’ he changes his stock story lines and makes them appear as completely new. He recycled and recycled and recycled ‘Exorcist’ and is still recycling it (another recycle of ‘Exorcist’, ‘Patta Pagalu’ is due for release very soon).

    The guy to his credit though made quite a few originals and brings forth a relatively compelling narrative when he clicks, which are often devoid of complex characters, which he fails to create (or is unwilling to create) despite all his intellectual bluster.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write: RGV is a self-confessed copycat.

    You are right!

    How could I forget the below post! I must be nearing my final days if I’m forgetting these things.

    I Am a Thief, Brags Bollywood Chutia RGV

    http://www.searchindia.com/2012/10/04/i-am-a-thief-brags-bollywood-chutia-rgv/

  6. Dr.Logu   September 19, 2014 at 2:52 am

    I must be nearing my final days if Iā€™m forgetting these things

    Oh please!!! Dont give us heartbreak!!! The contents of this blog and the quality of discussions are one of the best. As Aakar Patel observes, these days blogs provide us with quality journalism than the mainstream media that keeps peddling lies.

    Offtopic: One of the best article that I have read in recent times

    http://www.caravanmagazine.in/reportage/ballot-bullet-stone?page=0,0

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Kashmir was lost several decades back.

    Another bad legacy of both Nehru & Indira.

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