Wednesday, 5 November 2008

A Bloody Aria (2006)

I have no game plan to concentrate on Korean movies, although they seem to have figured heavily in my recent viewing. We went to the Institute of Contemporary Arts to see the above film -- which was quite poorly reviewed in the press here, but which sounded of interest.

The story concerns an opera-singing Professor who is driving one of his pet students home from an audition in his spiffy new Mercedes, having managed to antagonise a traffic cop en route. He takes a lonely detour as a prelude to trying to have his way with her, but she runs off into the woods. Meanwhile the car is soon surrounded by a brain-damaged thug and two fairly dim punks, who have a high school student that they have been torturing in a sack. The girl thinks she has found a ride to the nearest bus stop but her Good Samaritan turns out to be the amoral leader of the pack, leading to not-so-good-natured humiliation of both the professor and the girl. Then the traffic cop returns to the action and the sorry links between the various characters fall into place.

Reviews here linked the film to the "torture porn" genre, but it was not overly bloody and it was really more of a condemnation of the bullying endemic in Korean society (or so one is told). None of the characters apart from the girl were even remotely likeable, but the tale was a well-told character study with a surprising, if not overly satisfying, denouement.
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