Tuesday, March 5, 2013

My Gangster Lover Review (2010)

Drama Rating: ****
Personal Rating: Loved it!

My Gangster Lover, aka My Dear Desperado, tells of an over-the-hill gangster who's been released after several years in prison who happens to get a new neighbor in the form of Han Se Jin, an unemployed job seeker after she lost her first job after moving to Seoul. These unlikely neighbors end up running into each other fairly often and gradually their relationship evolves.

*Spoiler warning*

This was a delightful little movie that will definitely tickle your funny bone. The idea of a small time gangster neighboring an unemployed female job-seeker makes for some very promising and entertaining encounters and the screenwriter doesn't disappoint. In fact, he takes full advantage of this and creates a wonderfully satisfying love story out of this. Although the material doesn't lend itself well to delving too deeply into any subject, this doesn't hamper the story in any way since the focus on the two main character's relationship makes the story very warm and enjoyable. And I must say this ending was most appropriate!

Park Joong Hoon plays a gruff but loveable Oh Dong Chul. His stint is quite memorable as an over-the-hill gangster who's clearly no longer fit for the rough and tumble of the streets. His delivery and performance during the meeting with Se Jin's father was masterfully done. Jung Yoo Mi as the generally unlucky Han Se Jin plays her role fairly well although she is somewhat less memorable.

The music is virtually nonexistent in this movie which surprisingly works to its benefit. It very nicely enhances the story by bringing out their interaction and highlighting their conversations with ease. The characters' singsong voices back and forth make for a decent audio track and the various sound effects enhance this by giving the movie a very gritty and realistic feel.

I've been watching a bit more movies than dramas these days and this movie was definitely a sleeper hit. I wasn't expecting too much initially and the unusual plot worked out surprisingly nicely. This actually could have turned out to be quite a bore had it not been for the great cast who really brought their characters to life. Special mention goes to Park Joong Hoon who was quite memorable as the over the hill gangster. As an added note, I must say the ending was rather satisfying for me personally as I've been watching somewhat average endings lately.

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