Thursday, August 8, 2013

I saw the Devil last night

Well, not literally, but close enough. I watched this super ultra-violent Korean movie on Netflix called I Saw the Devil. If I have to describe the movie in a nutshell, I would say that it is basically Silence of the Lambs turned inside out. The movie starts with a serial killer murdering a young woman in a grisly fashion and then scattering her body parts all around a river bank for unsuspecting passersby to discover (Imagine this: It's a warm sunny day. You thought you were going for an idyllic walk along the river, and what do you find?...). The young woman's fiance, secret service agent Soo Hyun (played by Lee Byung Hun: You might recognize him as Storm Shadow in the G.I. Joe movies, if you are a Joe fan), vows to track down the killer and exact revenge by putting him through the exact same pain that his beloved had suffered. With the help of police files and some persistent detective work, Soo Hyun tracks down the killer, but doesn't kill him right away. Instead, he plays this cat and mouse game with the killer, slowly torturing him both physically and mentally. In this way, the hunter becomes the hunted, and we start wondering who is more evil: The serial killer, or the bereaved revenge-seeking fiance?

Lee Byung Hun
[Image taken from here]

I won't spoil the story for you by going into the details of how Soo-Hyun goes about exacting his revenge, or how everything ends (the ending, by the way, is genius: Haven't seen anything like this in ages). But all in all, I think this is a great movie, if you can stomach the sight of miscellaneous body parts constantly popping up, and people getting tortured and brutalized in all kinds of painful ways like, every ten seconds. Both Lee Byung Hun (it's really refreshing to see him speaking his native Korean rather than some totally stilted English lines that he's probably committed to memory and rehearsed ten thousand times) and Choi Min-sik (who plays the serial killer) are great actors who are very convincing in their roles. Choi, especially, has the difficult task of portraying an individual whom we are totally repulsed by and yet still, on some level, sympathize with. Not an easy thing to pull off. So all in all, I recommend the movie. But only if you can stomach it: It might be a good idea not to watch it right after dinner.  


What's really interesting is that watching the movie did not have a noticeable effect on my practice this morning. Usually, I'll have an emotional hang-over the morning after I watch an intense movie, and the effects will come up in the practice (a feeling of density, of having to move more slowly through the postures, etc.). But this didn't happen this morning. I did my usual practice (full primary and second up to Supta Vajrasana) completing it at the usual clip of one hour and twenty-seven minutes. I wonder what this says about me and my practice?

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