Film Review: Shark: The Beginning (2021) by Chae Yeo-jun

Over the course of the final couple of years, we’ve seen many films and skim many novels, coping with the topic of bullying, with Tetsuya Nakashima’s “Confessions” and Lee Su-jin’s “Han Gong-ju” being two of the maybe most outstanding examples. Given the deal with the social phenomenon, its victims and the repercussions for each side, the power to rework your self into somebody who can struggle again, bodily in addition to emotionally, has change into a pop-cultural trope. Of their 2016 webtoon “Shark” author Woon and illustrator Kim Woo-seob took this narrative as the inspiration of a narrative a couple of character going by a metamorphosis, looking for power and finally discovering one thing utterly completely different inside himself.

“Shark: The Starting” is screening at Florence Korea Movie Competition

Ever since he grew to become a scholar, Cha Woo-sol (Kim Min-suk) has been the sufferer of bullies, and was even compelled to vary colleges when the assaults grew to become an excessive amount of to deal with. At his new faculty, he opts for what he perceives because the most secure technique to keep away from being bullied: turning into invisible and evading these college students who’ve change into the self-elected leaders of the category. Finally although, his days of being invisible are over when Bae Seok-chan (Jung Received-chang), certainly one of his primary tormentors at the old-fashioned, is launched as a brand new scholar, with him losing no time to shortly struggle off the outdated bullies and persevering with Cha’s torture. When his sufferer instantly fights backs, attacking him with a pen, Cha manages to be victorious over his bully, however results in juvenile jail for the reason that assault value Bae’s his proper eye.

In jail, Cha is shortly launched to a brand new form of pecking order, with the stronger inmates controlling on a regular basis life and main the varied fractions inside. It doesn’t take lengthy, and he finds himself being the goal of some of the ruthless inmates after a misunderstanding throughout a soccer sport within the jail yard. Determined, he begs Jung Do-hyun (Wi Ha-joon), a former MMA champion sentenced for the homicide of his household, to coach him, to which he reluctantly agrees. Whereas he slowly will get stronger and may stand his personal in a struggle, a shock go to from Bae offers him a style of what’s to come back as soon as he’s again within the exterior world. Longing for revenge, he guarantees Cha to make his life a residing hell, motivating him much more to higher his expertise to have at the least a preventing likelihood towards Bae.

At its core, “Shark: The Starting” is a narrative of transformation. By way of the devoted efficiency of Kim Min-suk, we witness the bodily and emotional change of a younger man fed up with being on the receiving finish in a fistfight and being basically powerless. The montage-sequences, strongly harking back to 80s motion or martial arts-movies, emphasize the progress he’s making in a method which is each visually nostalgic for cinephiles, but additionally fascinating as you change into invested within the story of the protagonist. Except for Kim, Wi Ha-jon and particularly Jung Received-chang deserve some credit score for his or her performances, despite the fact that the latter might have used a bit extra room to develop his character as he evolves into one thing resembling a comic-book villain (which may very well be because of the supply materials).

Nonetheless, other than the drama, “Shark: The Starting” actually thrives relating to the preventing scenes themselves. Kim’s aforementioned efficiency, the progress of his character, is linked to the event of his expertise in a brawl. Every a kind of battles, with the one towards his former bully being the apparent finale, tells a narrative by itself, of shedding and profitable, of small steps to turning into another person till some form of transformation is reached. Together with the performances, the mix of modifying and cinematography creates a way of stress in every of those scenes, highlighting the impression of every blow and kick.

In conclusion, “Shark: The Starting” is an entertaining mix of drama and motion. Resulting from its performances and the execution of the struggle scenes, director Chae Yeo-jun manages to inform a fascinating story of a former sufferer of bullying turning into a brand new individual, the titular shark who is not going to cease shifting and is able to struggle again.



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