(out of 5)

Gang-do is a hired goon who goes around breaking limbs when borrowers cannot pay back what they owe his loan shark boss, crippling them and using their insurance claim money as compensation for their dues (that also include massive interest rates).  He plies his trade without the slightest regret or compassion, his impassive gaze and cold emotional state perfectly intact until he is visited by a beautiful woman with a devastating revelation:  she is Gang-do’s mother who abandoned him as a child and considers herself responsible for the way he has turned out.  At first resisting the intrusion of this glamorously dressed and made up woman who seems like a character from fiction come to life, Gang-do eventually grows to love her and spends his free moments making up for lost time, even bringing her with him on his assignments, and discovering a new dimension of sympathy for those he has harmed in the name of cash.  Then director Kim Ki-duk starts springing more surprises on you, and the themes of penance and forgiveness that we thought rested solely on the mother character achieve new dimensions and have devastating results.  Restrained but bold direction and sharp acting make for a film that hits you like a tightly focused hammer right through to the unforgettable final shots.

, ,

South Korea, 2012

Directed by

Screenplay by Ki-duk Kim

Cinematography by

Produced by

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by Ki-duk Kim

Toronto International Film Festival 2012

pieta3 pieta2 pieta4


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s