THIRST (a.k.a. Bawkji)


The Director: Chan-wook Park (Old Boy)

Starring: Kang-ho Song, Ok-vin Kim, Hae-sook Kim

The plot: Selfless priest Sang-hyeon (Kang-ho Song: The Host) is consumed by the sadness of the world so he volunteers to be a guinea pig in an experiment to find a cure for a contagious disease and, maybe, help save one person. The experiment fails and Sang-hyeon becomes infected, but an accidental transfusion of vampire blood cures him, and he becomes an object of worship for the miracle of his recovery.

One of his followers is childhood friend Kang Woo (Ha Kyun-Shin). Invited into his friend’s home, Sang-hyeon soon becomes entangled with his wife Tae-joo (Ok-vin Kim). Meanwhile, the contagion returns and the priest soon realizes that the only way to stave off its symptoms is to drink blood. Thus, his thirst – for both blood and pleasure –threatens to consume him.

The verdict: Director Chan-wook Park inability – or, likely, simple unwillingness – to commit to a genre (not exactly a horror film, Thirst oddly combines elements of melodrama, romance and thriller) makes it difficult to entirely empathize with his creation. It’s also overlong, although a mordant sense of humour keeps us engaged throughout.

Kang-ho Song as the priest is eminently sympathetic as a man caught between normal desires and a higher calling, and there’s an intense chemistry between him and co-star Ok-vin Kim, which makes for some truly erotic tension.

Rating: 7/10

2 Responses to “DVD REVIEW: THIRST”

  1. FYI, subtitles only show up if you watch at You-tube. (at least on firefox)

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