on 20 February 2006
Ju Jin-Mo is a quiet and conserved artist who paints portraits in a park. He is constantly harassed by thugs and humiliated by customers. To make matters worse a woman has recently begun to video tape him while all these events are taking place. When the woman leads the artist to a small theatre he encounters a man who unearths all his past secrets. This sends the artist on a murderous killing spree to punish all those that did him wrong.
Real Fiction is yet another dark twisted movie from the Korean director Kim Ki-Duk. One thing to note about this film was that it was shot in one afternoon with no retakes using only a 10 x 35mm camera and 2 digital cameras. Considering this the performances and quality of the final product is quite impressive. Another remarkable quality of the film is that it is shot in real time, this plus the use of cameras gives a very real feeling to the film (hence the name Real Fiction). As always with Kim Ki-Duk the main character doesn’t speak much and instead shows his emotion through terrible acts of violence. Although there is a lot of violence in this film I wouldn’t say that it is overdone, I guess what I’m saying is that it isn’t as bad as some of the stuff you’ll see in Kim Ki-Duk’s other movies (The Isle for instance). All the performances were stunning, as I said before, considering it was shot in one afternoon. A special mention would have to go the lead man and the actress who played the artist’s ex that owned the book store. I would have to say that when it came to the scene when the artist met up with his ex I was blown away by just how brilliantly acted that whole scene was.
The DVD itself could have been much better. For extras all we get are trailers. The picture is slightly disappointing, I’m pretty sure it’s more the original print of the movie than the DVD itself but there are scratches all over the movie and in parts you can see where the film cell has been damaged (I’m talking about holes that fill a quarter of the screen).
Overall this is a different revenge movie. What made this movie so enjoyable to watch had to be the performances by all the actors involved. I did find a few faults though, considering that the movie is only 83 minutes long it did drag on occasions and also the story isn’t the directors finest. If you are a fan of Kim Ki-Duk then you will most likely enjoy this, although not his best this is certainly worth a look just for the performances and techniques used by the director. I would definitely suggest renting first before buying though.
on 7 September 2013
Is it real? Is it fiction? It's up to you to decide. The film is quite interesting but not too original. If you are a fan of this Korean director, you would of course recognize some of his signatures in the film. The last scene reminds me of the ending of a Japanese film directed by Fukasaku Kinji, namely "Fall Guy", when all the actors, actresses etc gather together, showing the audience what they just saw is only a film, kind of an 'alienation effect'.
The important thing to remember about Real Fiction is that it is one of Kim Ki-Duk's first films. It is very much a B-movie, but that makes it all the better. It's raw and simple and cool and frustrating. I am a Korean movie fan, and if you are at all interested in Korean movies then you should watch this movie.
The overall story is very simple and laid out in the first few minutes - but it makes it very enjoyable to see how Ju Jin-Mo sets out on revenge.