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Sunday, April 19, 2015

[mslee's thoughts] Kim Rae Won Gone Bad in Gangnam 1970

I never thought that Gangnam 1970 would be so very violent and that I would be able to finish watching it. Maybe I endured because I already started and wanted to know the ending.

Even though Lee Min Ho is the lead role in the story, I am interested in Kim Rae Won's story. How bad has Kim Rae Won as Baek Yong Ki played in the movie? Seriously, I expected this much knowing his caliber as an actor. And I am just awed every time he appeared on screen. That aura of a true gangster has definitely fitted him and he gave justice to the character.

The pacing of the story is quite fast maybe because it is a movie. It started with the two of them , him as Baek Yong Ki and [Lee Min Ho] Kim Jong Dae as brothers trying to stay alive each day on a cruel and hungry world. They shared a house. They are not really brothers by blood but they met at an orphanage and since then, Jong Dae calls him hyung. One day, their pathetic house was bulldozed by gangsters hired by politicians. That was Korea's era where politicians kept group of gangsters to do their dirty works and to stay in power. Somehow, after that day the two brothers were separated.

Kim Rae Won got into the character of a bad and frightening gangsters. I have never seen him in this kind of role because I only watched him in dramas where he played a good guy. The last drama, Punch was awesome and somehow his role there was upgraded into this character.

Baek Yong Ki became a part of a gangster that works for a politician. Three years had passed since he last saw Jong Dae. I want to think that the separation made him more greedy to live a comfortable life even though he is only one of the low gangsters. He never looked for Jong Dae maybe he feels that his fate will become different if he just decided not to bring Jong Dae. That was the start of a more complicated life for him. Totally violent. His hands are filled of blood from fighting and killing. 

Even the woman he likes is not his exclusively. He can't do anything about it because Joo So Jung is also his boss' woman, Yang Gi Taek, For now he is a trusted right hand. He managed a hotel. But yes, he is not happy with his life. 

The interesting story of brotherhood between Jong Dae and Yong Ki was filled with betrayal. Jong Dae trusted him and even helped him, but he has his own agenda. He wants to be the leader, he wants to take down his boss. He used his brother Jong Dae who is a part of a gang that is working for an assembly man that had been used and trampled on three years ago. Now this assembly man wants to be back in politics. There lies the conflict.

To achieve Baek Yong Ki's greed, he worked with Jong Dae, giving him informations about his group's plans. Jong Dae is urging Yong Ki to join him but he always answered him later. The betrayal that Jong Dae would not be able to forgive was when Yong Ki killed the leader of Jong Dae's gang, the man who became a family to Jong Dae when they got separated. Yong Ki killed Kang Gil Soo to fool Yang Gi Taek and to show that his loyalty is still strong towards him, the boss.

I thought Jong Dae will kill him but maybe because he was once a brother to Jong Dae he spared him. But the fate of these two brothers were in the hands of the assembly man Seo Tae Gon. Both Yong Ki and Jong Dae were shot in different places. To clean every trace of dirty transactions that these two ever got involved with the powerful politicians ruling the country. It's not enough that both lived a pathetic life, and still their lives ended in a tragic way. 

Why Gangnam?

The fertile land everyone wants to own to start a new city. To make more money. Dirty money.

Sexy and masculine, Kim Rae Won's steamy scenes are so hot. I think overall, the movie has shared a compelling story about two brothers and their greed. But their greed differs. One would betray the other to make it in this gruesome world they live in.

I like how the writer went back to the first scenes of the movie in the ending part. It was a "what could have been" scene and perhaps, if that day their house were never destroyed, they could have lived a different life. Together. 

This movie is for adults that have stomach for violent fightings. Seriously, the visuals are strong and savage. Got to have a strong stomach for watching this kind of action.


made some screen caps of Kim Rae Won

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