THE YELLOW SEA (the murderer; hwanghae) (2010 S. KOREA) D/W: NA HONG-JIN P: HAN SUNG-GOO
A down-on-his-luck debt-ridden taxi driver (Ha Jeong-woo) in Yabian (a forgotten no man`s land bordered by North Korea, China and Russia) is made an offer by gangster Kim Yoon-seok to clear his debts by travelling to South Korea (in the most horrible, degrading way that illegal immigrants suffer the world over on a daily basis) and killing someone (bringing back the thumb as evidence). While there, Ha also hopes to find out what happened to his (treacherous?) wife who left to work but disappeared. Need i mention that things go wrong, and a monumental shit-storm escalates? Viewers worried that Director Na had peaked with his amazing debut CHASER (starring the same two leads) can rest assured that this paints violent tragedy on a bigger canvas, and includes some breathtaking action and thrills. Not for the squeamish. And don`t forget that wicked streak of blacker-than-black comedy. Highly recommended. With Jo Seong-ha. I saw the 156 min. theatrical cut, but a shorter (140) Director`s Cut is available.