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Emotionally detached and socially isolated, Kang-do's daily life is a succession of brutally violent incidents. As a feared and infamous debt collector on the streets of South Korea, he is renowned for his horrifically sadistic methods and his merciless, cold bloodied disregard for human life. That is until he meets a mysterious woman who claims to be the mother that abandoned him at birth. Initially sceptical, he eventually lets her into his life, only for her to suddenly vanish. On the hunt for the culprits he believes are responsible for her disappearance, Kang-do is thrown into a dark and savage journey of fatal secrets that will take him to the edge of sanity. Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Kim Ki-duk (3-Iron, Samaritan Girl), Pieta is Asian cinema at its most raw, intense and unforgettable.
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Top Customer Reviews
Of course, you just know that this isn't a story that's going to end well, and not just for the rabbit, but the how and why isn't necessarily what you expect, Kim's restrained, unsensational direction of his sensational material and the strong but unshowy performances making its somewhat unlikely tale of redemption and damnation seem more credible than it should.Read more ›
A Western audience may well find most of the performances far from convincing, although Min-soo Jo's portrayal of the enigmatic and mysterious woman who one day appears in the life of debt collector Gang-Do (Jeong-jin Lee) claiming to be the mother who abandoned him at birth is marvellously disconcerting. Jo Young-Jik's cinematographic portrait of the squalor of the industrial sectors of South Korea is also quite breathtaking (albeit in a bad sort of way.) While I doubt that the film will do well in the mainstream, I would expect it to become a cult classic in fairly short order.
The disc only offers the original Korean soundtrack with subtitles (no English dialogue overdub version) which has to be a good thing.
A highly stylistic work, with plenty of junta-position between Christian symbology and graphic sexual content, Pieta garnered largely positive critical reviews despite the uncomfortable subject matter of an ‘incestuous' relationship between a man and a woman claiming to be his mother.
Not a pleasant, nor easy film to watch. Perhaps one for fans of Korean or Asian cinema in general, and especially fans of some of the more gruesome works from that part of the world, like the excellent Oldboy, or Ichi The Killer.
The film follows a thuggish orphan who preys on the weak in his role as a debt collector. His apathy and underlying rage lead him to violence towards those who cannot pay him, and a complete lack of care for his horrible actions. Out of nowhere, a woman claiming to be his mother shows up, full of apologies, and with an eerily apathetic determination to get into his life. There isn't much more to say about what follows - there is bonding, and the repeated recurrences of past evils, and a strong conclusion. It is difficult to feel symapthy towards any of the characters here, and I'm not sure if it was the director's intent to ever let us contemplate feeling sympathy - maybe only the sympathy a normal 'good' person would be expected to feel towards someone, even a monster, who is in pain. You will likely be conflicted, but maybe that will be more down to the confused plotting and intent rather than the issues at work. It is brilliantly cold, feels very authentic, and is a brooding, dank, descent into a seedy underworld of revenge.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A loan shark is forced to reconsider his violent lifestyle after the arrival of a mysterious woman claiming to be his long-lost mother. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Roger Sharp
Pieta follows the same style of lots of other Korean films I've seen - and it is depicting a depressingly grim and dark reality. Read morePublished 23 months ago by The Truth
If you're into bloody, gory stuff then you may well appreciate this DVD. Although set in Asia, it is well-subtitled and features a strong, very thirlling plot that proves film is... Read morePublished on 16 Jan. 2014 by Blackcatlover
Pieta is the 18th film by Korean director Kim Ki-duk and tells the story of Kang Do, a savage debt collector for a racket that loans money to the struggling small businesses of the... Read morePublished on 13 Dec. 2013 by K. Galbraith
As a fan of the Saw series I am not averse to revenge horror but this pushed my resolve to its limits. Read morePublished on 10 Dec. 2013 by Su
Ki-duk Kim's gritty thriller 'Pieta' certainly has quite a bold and hard-hitting plot going for it. Indeed, the 'Hit-man' grime of the storyline has the potential to paint a... Read morePublished on 5 Dec. 2013 by Chris Hall