Bad Guy

“When trouble occurs between men and women, it generates the energy that makes the world go round.” — Kim Ki-Duk

Bad Guy, one of the [earlier] films in Kim’s fascinating back catalog, is a kind of cocktail — simple, bitter, served straight and in an unwashed glass. The scenario’s oddball reveal is almost whimsical: a glaring thug spots a young coed in a street crowd, sits beside her and soon enough grabs her for a kiss that soldiers have to break up. She spits on him, putting the unseen gears of vengeance and obsession in motion. The impulsive, silent goon turns out to be a [pimp], and before long the girl is implicated in a pickpocketing that lands her in the whorehouse. But Bad Guy isn’t actually about revenge, Park Chan-Wook-style — the plot toys with the amour fou between captive and captor, and Kim never settles for a theme. The beguilingly Magritte-ish climax could be read either as an “Owl Creek” death fantasy or — something else, and there are moments of voyeur poetry that leave a gentle thumbprint. If anything, Bad Guy is more enigmatic than his other hyperbolic parables.” — Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice
Dir. Kim Ki-Duk, 2002, 35mm, 100 min.

Watch the trailer for “Bad Guy”!
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