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Neither do, despite the crowd-pleasing presence of Han Suk-kyu, Southern agents play a significant role in The Berlin File.
Instead, the film works best when Ryoo focuses on the intolerable paranoia and distrust that poison and undermine the integrity of North Korean characters.
Positive word-of-mouth then helped the film to achieve a level of publicity and box office success almost unheard of for independent films.
The early part of 2013 also marked the anticipated Hollywood debuts of Korean directors Park Chan-wook (Stoker) and Kim Jee-woon (The Last Stand). A) operatives headed by Jeong Jin-soo (Han Suk-kyu, Villian and Widow). Pyo barely escapes with his life, but manages to elude Jeong, obsessed with bagging him.
Lee Si-young has an unusual star image: she is unique in simultaneously pursuing a career as an actress, while also competing as an amateur boxer.
Lee originally learned boxing as part of her preparation to act in a TV drama, but then she continued training and eventually won several amateur boxing championships in the 48kg weight category.
fter a record-breaking box office run in 2012, Korean cinema continued to flex its muscles in the early part of 2013.
Boosted by great performances and a multitude of gags that are genuinely funny, the film produced strong word-of-mouth among viewers, though not soon enough to save it in a month when it was sharing screens with box office behemoths The Berlin File, New World and Miracle in Cell No. Much of the buzz surrounding this film centers on the two charismatic leads.
Indeed, Ryoo's Dong Myung-soo seems to be the perfect embodiment of the quasi-anarchic, utterly ruthless pursuit of power that seems to be the true credo of the North Korean rulers, beneath their Communist or nationalist flag-waving. Be my guest: give Comrade Dong a hug, why don't you? old dog (John Keogh) is visibly clunky, what with the former's bizarre, hiya-ol'-buddy English diction (in contrast, Ryoo Seung-beom's mannered, ersatz-Middle-European-accented "Konglish" fits his character perfectly).
Ryoo stumbles somewhat in a series of extravagantly ambitious action sequences that build up to the film's finale, with its occasionally haphazard continuities and CG-rendered, cheap-looking explosions. On the other hand, technical specs are dependably superior.
Although not technically Korean films, these works are of great interest to many fans of Korean cinema, so we will be providing a separate page (coming soon) for reviews of these and other "not quite Korean" films. It appears that someone in the North Korean embassy has been selling secrets and is now preparing to defect to the South.
Looking ahead to the rest of 2013, the one massive project on the horizon is Bong Joon-ho's SF epic Snowpiercer, expected to reach theaters in August. Pyo begins to suspect his estranged wife Ryeon Jeong-hee (Jeon Ji-hyun, a.k.a. Meanwhile the Northern headquarters is sending Dong Myung-soo (Ryoo Seung-beom, Perfect Number), a sadistic interrogator and cold-blooded assassin, to clean up the mess.