October 25, 2021


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‘Heaven: In the Land of Happiness’ Review: An Odd-Couple Crime Comedy

3 min read

A chronically ill prisoner and desperate hospital worker steals a bundle filled with crowds of “paradise: land of happiness”. This combination of odd-couple road movies and crime comedy runs nicely for about half the running time but loses momentum when the feeling and pull-out male bond takes precedence over the more humorous elements of the film. A-list performers Choi Min-sik (“Old Boy”) and Park Hay-il (“The Host”) are well served by casting extraordinary allies, “Paradise” should be warmly welcomed by local audiences but the latest offer is South Korean films. He is less likely to enjoy international exhibitions, such as “The Housemaid,” from producer Im Sang-su.

Originally selected for Cannes 2020 but unable to screen due to the epidemic, Iman’s film instead received its world premiere in Busan 2021 as an open-night attraction. A different proposition from his emotionally captivating and politically provocative work, including “The President’s Last Bang.” ”“ The Wife of a Good Lawyer ”and“ Taste of Money ”, this jolt around taking pictures quite nicely in Korean countryside finds me in a much more peaceful and reflective mind.

In parts of the quick opening we meet a convicted felon known only as Prisoner 203 (Choi). Towards the end of his five-year stretch, 203 discovered that he had a dysfunctional brain tumor and was given a fortnight to survive. Before his time runs out, 203 apologizes to his distant daughter (Li J-in) and then dies on the beach. Working in a hospital where 203 have been diagnosed is Nom-Sik (Park), a humble and gentle disciplined person who is stealing banned expensive drugs to fight Fabry’s disease, a cripple and often life-short suffering.

When 203 decides to leave the hospital, he finds an associate of Nam-Sik, who will be caught by the authorities and statistics, and he too can go on the ride. In a coincidental sequence it is seen that the two snatched an auditorium containing a coffin belonging to a criminal family. After deciding to stop the box and bury it, the two discover that it is filled with cash.

IM’s screenplay hummed as enjoyably as 203 and the name-sick could carry as much meaning as possible and decided their vision to reach 203’s daughter before it was too late. Running behind them is a fascinating gallery of strange bulls, including a bullhead, a very bright cop (Eun J-Moon) and two thugs (Cho Han-Cheul and Im Seong-J), the mother of a critically ill criminal group, Madame Eun (Eun Yuh) -Jung. ). Her sixth im-feature, and appearing as an Oscar winner for “Minaret”, steals every scene of hers like the national treasure eunuch bedridden boss, who may be on the verge of death but stops insulting and beating his glamorous daughter (Lee L). Can’t Missing Mollah.

But neither the entertaining Madame Eun nor her lively little ones play too much of a role in the middle part of the film. IM’s screenplay dramatically slows down as 203 and becomes an inseparable best friend before the name-sick grief stories squabble, flutter, and finally rekindle life in the face of impending death. Choi and Park are very good together and there is a sincerity in the scripting that will keep the patient’s audience busy, but the sharp pace of the story and the free-wheeling spirit take a noticeable hit when the pack following the cops and thugs is sidelined.

“Heaven” gets some of her mojo back with an exciting chase, where 203 and Nam-Sik steal a female police officer’s (Susanna Nah) motorcycle, and return for a final stabbing to settle Madame Yoon’s thugs score. While not aimed at big belly laughter, the script provides a good deal of humorous humor and has a great running goggle in the use of a Tessar gun.

Despite its slow patches and a score for its own good on the 1970s style “Waka Wakka” disco guitar, “Paradise” has reached a destination that may be very familiar but many viewers will have to leave with the same feeling as a character who at the moment of reflection Said “It felt warm and made me happy.”

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