Ubisoft Presents Fantasia 2008

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Beautiful Sunday

(Byootipool Seondei)

Canadian Premiere

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Director: Jin Kwang-kyo
Screenplay: Jin Kwang-Kyo
Cast: Park Yong-Woo, Nam Koong-Min, Min Jee-Hye
Producers: Na Yong-Kook
Distributor: Showbox


Detective Kang interrupts a major drug deal, collaring the criminal kingpin at the heart of the transaction. When the report is presented, the crook notices that the volume of drugs claimed to have been seized is substantially smaller than what was actually present. Not a good thing for Kang, a corrupt and alcoholic officer who uses dirty money to offset the medical costs of his wife, hospitalized in a deep coma. As sweet as that is, itís always in a copís best interest to limit the number of skeletons in his closet. Min-woo, meanwhile, secretly harbours an obsessive infatuation with Su-yeon, a young woman in his neighbourhood. One night, he gets up the nerve to approach her, but misunderstanding him, she panics and screams. He silences her and drags her to a wooded area, where in a moment of utter moral failure, he rapes her. She never sees his face, and so is unaware of his secret when several weeks later, he daringly resumes his romantic pursuit.

A particularly debased atmosphere permeates BEAUTIFUL SUNDAY, a film that inflicts unease on even the sturdiest audience, exploring as it does the ugliest corners of the human psyche. The two antiheros (if one can call them even that), so convincingly portrayed by Park Yong-woo (SWIRI) and Nam Goog-min (A DIRTY CARNIVAL), commit acts so disgraceful they inspire disgust. But filmmaker Jin Kwang-kyo takes great care not to demonize his characters or to make martyrs of them. Rather, he inquires how a person can live with such a wounded conscience, and if there are hopes of redemption for someone with such dark secrets. Itís remarkable that a novice filmmaker should tackle such raw and risky themes, and a narrative structure so complex, but he succeeds admirably. Jin deftly juggles the two parallel stories and delivers an effective crime thriller that maintains a high level of tension right up to the intense and unexpected conclusion. Be among the first to discover this young talent, because it wonít be the last we hear of him!

—Nicolas Archambault (translated by Rupert Bottenberg)