Friday, 8 February 2013

The Yellow Sea - Stabby Stabby!

       The Yellow Sea is a gritty Korean crime film that starts out as being about a desperate man reluctantly taking on a hit in order to clear his debts. Before long however, a more intricate plot starts to unravel and get further complicated as more characters with their own shady ulterior motives are gradually revealed.
        People are killed, tortured and disposed of. So far, so gangland. But what really surprised me about this film is the sheer amount of stabiness. Yes, you read that right, stabiness.
        You see, guns only feature in one scene of the film (the end results being rather disastrous as a guy ends up shooting his friend instead of his intended target). Instead, most of the scenes with weapons in the film consist of the use of knives and hatchets. Sure there is the odd occasion where bludgeoning occurs with metal pipes, wrenches and a giant animal bone(!), but the rate hacking, slashing and stabbing in this film is both frequent and horrific.
        It kind of takes you by surprise, as most of it doesn't happen until the second half of the film, after a relatively slow build up of the story in the first. Especially with sequences toward the end of the film when there are multiple scenes of fights, chases and murdering – all involving stabby weapons.

        The depiction of these heinous methods of attack are portrayed rather realistically, with plenty of blood, squirm inducing sound effects and the appropriate sense of pain being relayed by the actors.
       Apart from the seemingly superhuman gang boss Myun, most people who get attacked do not survive – making it a frightening proposition. As a result, one particular chase scene where the protagonist is being relentlessly pursued through the docks by twenty guys all wielding knives and hatchets wildly swinging away at him - is both exhilarating and terrifying to watch.

        As morbid as it may sound, I bet you have at some point pondered would you rather be shot at or stabbed - if you had to choose between the two. You probably know already, but after this film you will most likely to err towards facing a gun than a pointy blade or hatchet any day.
        Anyway, The Yellow Sea wins the award for the most stabby film in recent memory. Ouch.

[Note: This article is merely an observation of the film and does not seek to condone, glorify or make light of the violent act of stabbing. It's a very horrible thing. Don't do it!]

8 Feb 2013

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