I have watched Duelist
now two times and I'm still in awe of the cinematography, the colours, the sword fighting and of course the prettiness that is Kang Dong-Won aka Sad Eyes.summary
The Duelist is set in ancient Korea where counterfeiting on a grand scale is taking place. A young female state detective called Namsoon is send out to gather information and also bringing down the perpetrators. Together with her fatherly friend and superior she meets a mysterious stranger who seems to be entangled in the counterfeit.( character review )
The movie is shot beautifully, every frame is a work of art and the colours seem to leap at you from the screen. The acting is okay, with a very intense main lead and few dialogues. Even though the music is contemporary it doesn't distract from the tale and only enhances the timelessness of it.
Even though it is an historic drama, it is a very quiet movie. You can see actually the characters developping and unfolding, and you can sympathize with Sad Eyes and his life and why he makes the choices he makes.
The martial arts scenes are beautiful. Strong lighting of black and white as well as the choreography is beautifully done. Namsoon and Sad Eye dance a deadly dance, one wrong move and one of them is dead. It is both terrifying and beautiful to behold. They appear like two wild beasts that meet on a plane where they can exchange their passions freely, without restriction. The fighting becomes a ritual of courting and of mating, they touch but never kiss, while their swords slash and stab at each other.
It is not a great movie, there are flaws. But these can be easily overlooked by the fact that it was beautifully shot and that the male lead is such a pretty man who knows how to handle a sword and still looking hot. ;-)
Edited to add: Kang Dong-woo did a very good job. The poor man definitely lost some weight, even though he is not heavy, his tall frame carries his weight well but in this movie he is really tough and lean and even his face which is normally a bit on the chubby side is lean and flawless.
x-posted in dorama_chat