"It's not a bad movie, but I was expecting more comedy from what has been widely tagged as a black comedy."
President's Last bang (2005)
Director: Im Sang-Su
Writer: Im Sang-Su
Producer: Shin Cheol
Cast: Han Seok-Gyu, Baek Yun-Sik, Kim Yun-A, Song Jae-Ho, Kim Eung-Su, Jeong Won-Jung, Kwon Byeong-Gil, Jo Sang-Geon, Jo Eun-Ji, Lee Jae-Gu, Kim Sang-Ho, Kim Seong-Wuk, Kim Tae-Han, Yun Yeo-Jeong
Running Time: 102 min.
Plot: Based on the 1979 assassination of Korean President Park Chung-Hee, this film mixes fact and fiction to portray the presidents last day, attending a private party where Korea's CIA agents plotted to assassinate him.
Availability: This title is available at HKflix.com
EQUINOX21'S REVIEW: Based on a true story, The President's Last Bang explores the events of the assassination of President Park in 1979. The film mostly follows the conspirators and their attempt to get away with their crime. For a film that deals with such a politically charged and dark subject it takes a very light-hearted, to the point of almost seeming aloof, approach... hence the classification of the film as a black comedy.
There were a few different sections to this movie. The first was the lead up to the assassination, the second was the event being carried out, and the last was the attempted cover-up by the conspirators. The story really focuses on Han Suk-kyu's character of a KCIA chief and his boss, director of the KCIA (played by Baek Yoon-shik), who is the lead conspirator and triggerman. There is screen time given to many other minor characters, as we follow everyone's different responses to the mayhem involved in an organized plot to kill the most powerful man in South Korea.
There was some controversy over the release of TPLB, because even though the story is based on actual events, it's still a film that takes some creative liberties. The opening of the film, during the credits, was supposed to include real documentary footage about the president and his reign; however this was censored by the Korean Film board because they were afraid that people would confuse reality with the movie, and believe that the movie is all true. So, instead of cutting this out and simply moving onto the movie, the director chose instead to leave the screen black during the credits. When I'd first read about this censorship, I was angry and thought it would be distracting to have a black screen for 4 minutes of the film. However, I didn't even notice it, and honestly didn't even realize that this was the part that was censored until I'd read about it later. It's not as striking as I've heard it described in the past.
Though it was interesting enough, I kept hoping to see more amusing yet darkly twisted bits of humor in The President's Last Bang. I wasn't really sure what to make of the film, because of the way I'd heard it described. It's not a bad movie, but I was expecting more comedy from what has been widely tagged as a black comedy.
EQUINOX21'S RATING: 7/10