With the proper timing and the right production, brilliant actors and actresses might find themselves skyrocketing to fame in the colourful world of Korean entertainment. Some celebrities’ acting careers, fortunately, took off right away, but others have been at it for years, putting in all their hard work and effort on each film just to find sweet success with the proper vehicle that eventually shot them into a celebrity. Let’s see the breakthrough Korean movies below.
1. The Handmaiden
Park Chan-wook planned for this film to be a literal adaptation of Sarah Waters’ Victorian England novel Fingersmith, but he altered his mind after learning that the BBC had already done so. The final film, which was set at a time when Koreans were second-class citizens in their own nation, outperformed both the novel and the TV series. This sharpens the edges of this perilous and oh-so-sexy lesbian romance.
2. Secret Sunshine
This drama about a widowed woman who is pushed through the ringer is a heartbreaking experience unlike any other. Director Lee Chang-dong (previously South Korea’s Minister of Culture) is unflinching in his portrayal of her suffering, and main actress Jeon Do-yeon (who won the Cannes Best Actress Award) gives a powerful performance.
Bong Joon-Oscar ho’s wins in South Korea are seen as more of a “ah, you finally noticed us” moment than a national triumph. Still, pundit Lee Dong-scream jin’s of shock over the Best Picture announcement highlighted the Oscar ceremony in that country, and political conservatives in South Korea (longtime foes of Bong) are seeking to erect a statue of him. This list’s cause is deserving of a prominent position.
Considering the tensions between South Korea and Japan, the Koreans will take pride in producing a better Haruki Murakami adaption than any Japanese director. What makes this insidiously good is how Lee Chang-dong manipulates our perceptions: we suspect the wealthy Korean-American is a serial killer, but the film stays so close to its mentally ill character’s perspective that we can’t be sure.
5. The Host
This is a Bong Joon-ho science-fiction film; however, it should not be confused with the Saoirse Ronan sci-fi thriller of the same name, which was released around the same time and is dreadful.
6. Lady Vengeance
It’s likely the only one from a female perspective, as Lee Yeong-ae portrays an ex-convict who is released from prison and vows vengeance on those who placed her there. You’ll never forget the scene in which she makes Choi Min-killer sik’s transcribe her message to her daughter into English.
7. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter … And Spring
Like Roman Polanski, you have to admire Kim Ki-directing duk’s abilities despite the fact that he’s most likely a pervert. This Buddhist allegory is his best film, remarking on the passage of time as a monk returns to a sparsely populated monastery at various phases of his life.
Choi Min-sik kills all those mobsters with a hammer in Park Chan-ultraviolent wook’s thriller, not to mention how his revenge scheme ends up recoiling on himself. Consider it in comparison to Spike Lee’s English-language remake.
9. Extreme Job
To bust a gang of organised criminals, narcotics investigators work undercover in a chicken shop. When their innovative recipe transforms the run-down diner into the town’s hottest dining, things take an unexpected turn.
10. A Tale Of Two Sisters
This hair-raising horror film based on an ancient Korean folk story about two children contending with a beautiful but evil stepmother is Kim Ji-best woon’s work (Yeom Jung-ah). “I think you girls need to be taught a lesson,” she says, cutting a menacing figure. The scene with the creature under the refrigerator will also give you nightmares. The Uninvited, starring Elizabeth Banks, was remade in Hollywood, but stick with the original.