Movie: Bad Guy (나쁜 남자)
Director: Kim Ki-duk
Writer: Kim Ki-duk
Producer: Ahn Sang-hoon
Released: January 11, 2002
Bad Guy is a film by the exceptional Korean director Kim Ki-Duk. Known for his films always having a special touch to them, Bad Guy follows a young college woman who is forced into a life through planned events. The opening moments of the film show the young woman sitting on a bench with a man sitting adjacent from her checking her out. Puzzled and annoyed by the looks she receives from the mysterious man, she calls her boyfriend to comfort her. With the boyfriend’s arrival she feels secure and doesn’t expect any more glances from the bizarre man.
The man then ventures over to the bench that the two are standing next to. Without saying a word, he grabs the girl and begins to kiss her. In a rage, the boyfriend attempts to separate the two to no avail. The man continues to kiss the young college girl as she tries to squirm away from him. Separating from him, the girl demands an apology but the man refuses. He begins to walk away but a group of soldiers who were present during the spectacle block his path of escape. The soldiers demand the man to give the young woman an apology. He refuses to acknowledge his wrong doings towards the woman, and the soldiers begin to hit the man and the young woman walks over and spits at him.
The film is brought to a later moment and we see the young woman shopping in a store. She discovers an art book that she likes but realizes she cannot afford the entire book. She glances around her and then rips a page out of the book. On her way out of a store, she sees a wallet and pockets it. Continuing onward, she leaves the store behind her and is then immediately confronted by a man who says that the wallet she stole is his and within the wallet is a vast amount of money. The girl hands over the wallet to the man and the man begins to thumb threw it. He reveals to her that the money is missing and that she now owes him all the money.
Bad Guy, like many of Kim Ki-duk’s films, follows silent characters who rarely talk but whose actions are capable of explaining their emotions. With that in mind, throughout the film, an eerie feeling is present, which leaves the viewer wondering what is going to happen next. With each passing moment, we soon discover the dark life that is ahead for the young woman. Forced to work in a brothel to pay off her dept, the young woman finds herself confronted by the man that kissed her as now he is her bodyguard.
Bad Guy is different from other films by Kim Ki-duk I have seen in the sense that it feels darker than most of. Watching the film can become hard to continue at times, but curiosity keeps one watching as we want to see where Kim Ki-duk takes us. With each passing moment, as more is revealed to the audience, we discover that an unlikely bond has formed between two people of two different worlds. This delicate bond is what keeps the characters from being completely taken over in this dark underground world to which they have been brought. Even with the bond being forged within dark undertones, it still manages to shed some light in a world that has hardly any good left within it.
Cast: Cho Jae-hyun, Seo Won