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Saturday, June 30, 2018

Gipeuteodeu (akfa Gifted) (2014)

Set in South Korea, a young man (Kim Beom Joon) has been out of work for months when his girlfriend (Bae Junghwa) threatens to leave him because he has no money. So he turns to crime. First, it's just stealing cars but it soon turns to more violent crimes and murder. Not only is he sexually turned on by killing, he discovers he loves it so much that he can't stop even when he tries. Directed by Juhn Jai Hong (BEAUTIFUL), this is a unique portrait of a serial killer. Clearly Juhn is interested in the psychology and mindset of the killer, not in the actual murders which are discreetly filmed for the most part. There's an undertone of homoeroticism to the film. All of Kim's victims are male (in one shocking scene he masturbates after a murder) and Kim is frequently nude or in his underwear. Kim Beom Joon gives a terrific performance here. At times, charming, almost sweet and at times, horrifying. Juhn manages an exciting and intense scene toward the very end and it probably should have ended there but gives a little twist for a coda. With Jeon Yul.   

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