12 Aug 2010 ● English ● 2 hrs 21 mins
Release Dates: 12 Aug 2010 (India), 15 Sep 2011 (Singapore), 04 Mar 2011 (United States)
Tagline: To catch a monster he must become one
Movie: I Saw the Devil
I don't prefer watching foreign movies at all. By chance I got to know about I SAW THE DEVIL, a South Korean action thriller that had garnered praises all over. This made me excited to watch it, and I couldn't resist myself from watching it. I later came to know that there are two versions of this film: Korean and International. I watched both of them, but missed a few scenes of the Korean cut. Despite of this, having watched it in English (dubbed) and Korean (English Subtitled) both, I found it to be pretty interesting and gripping.
I SAW THE DEVIL is a kind of revenge story that one would hardly have seen before at all. It's really very gripping from the moment it begins. One gets to see the bare minded madness of what one can do. Sadly, since in India we never got exposed to such films, the initial reaction was "it's amazing but too explicit." But as I realized the real intention behind this film, I found I hadn't exactly seen the real intention of violence, profanity etc too. It intended to show everything realistically. And that's why it engages you fully.
The film has some minor flaws, perhaps not really flaws because they don't hinder the progress the film makes from the beginning. But really, a few sequences needed to be a bit shorter and a few subplots could've been avoided. But what takes over these flaws is the performance by the lead actors, Byung-hun Lee and Choi Min-Sik. These two men drive the story to an extreme and keep you interested all the time.
I SAW THE DEVIL is well adapted and executed by its director Kim Jee-Woon. As everyone knows, it has a lot of violence. I don't have problem with violence, since I have been habitual of seeing such kind of violence in many action movies and being an action film lover, I couldn't resist myself from watching the fight scenes again and again. But due to the excessive obscenity in a few scenes, I recommend it's better to watch this film alone or with someone of your age group who is interested in such films, not family. It's definitely not for kids, unless they grow up of course.
There are a lot more positives to list here. The film is well shot with good production values, due to which it's recommended to catch the film on Blu-ray instead of DVD. The visuals are excellent. The film is never hindered by any songs and the BGM is terrific, especially in the action and dramatic scenes. It has brilliant action, but it also has a riveting drama. Byung-hun Lee is very handsome and a brilliant actor who fits the role. Choi Min-Sik as the villain is a total firecracker. He gives a brilliant performance close to perfection. Other actors do their part well.
Overall, I SAW THE DEVIL is a good action thriller that nevertheless keep you riveted despite of mild editing flaws as the overall film is very gripping. It's recommended for those who like dark revenge based action thrillers and without minding the language barrier. I know it's not 100% perfect, but then who gives 100% perfection always? For movie lovers who can see a lot more than just violence and vulgarity, this film is a must watch and definitely thought-provoking. In other words, an action packed thrilling delight!