Pieta / a consolation eel


+ PIETA (Kim Ki-duk, 2012)

Debt collector Kangdo (Lee Jung-Jin) inflicts violence on everyone, from the helpless borrowers (limb removal by lathe) to the mysterious woman claiming to be his mother (Jo Min-Soo), long gone since childhood.  He wrestles with this idea, but her beatific patience and a consolation eel warm steadily but surely warm him up, as she foists up the slippery worm in a clear plastic bag, like a child with a newly acquired goldfish. It writhes with fresh zest down a filthy flight of stairs, flopping around in a nametag scratched with her phone number. How's that for a calling card? Grilled eel is a tasty traditional Korean dish (jang-oh-gui), lacquered with a sweet tangy sauce, but alas this film, like most of the director's won't inspire an appetite. After a series of sick dares, mother and son hold hands and stroll through the rust and garbage machinery-filled Seoul, as if molestation and flesh-eating were long forgotten things of the past.


With each new film, Kim Ki-duk seems to relish a sadistic cruelty that shows little sympathy for either subjects or spectators.  I would complain more, but the film, which began with psycho-sexual relations and religious insinuations, reduces itself to a more conventional fare of the stereotypical Korean-vengeance-drama variety.


+ something with placenta. buy really you shouldn't feel like eating after watching this.