Ubisoft Presents Fantasia 2008

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Going By the Book

(Baleuge Salja)
Sponsored by: Burger King

North american Premiere

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Credits

Director: Ra Hee-chan
Screenplay: Jang Jin
Cast: Jung Jae-yeong, Ju Jin-mo, Son Byong-ho, Lee Han-wi
Producers: Kim Mee-hwa
Distributor: CJ Entertainment

Description

Jung Do-Man, a serious young police officer, believes in following the rules and performing his duties to the best of his abilities. Most people would describe him as being a bit obsessive about things, which has resulted in his being demoted from investigator to traffic cop. He lives and works in the small Korean town of Sampo, whose citizens are quite well off—meaning that there are plenty of banks just begging to be robbed. When a newly appointed police chief discovers the town is in the middle of a crime wave and its citizenry losing confidence in their police force, he decides the best solution to the problem is to instigate a highly publicised training exercise in which they would simulate a bank robbery and show everyone how efficiently the force would respond to this emergency. He chooses Jung for the role of the robber in this unscripted role-playing exercise, a decision he soon comes to regret. Having prepared himself for the escapade by studying criminal psychology and casing his chosen target meticulously, the young man proves himself to be much more than the force can handle. Soon the whole nation is glued to its TV sets, watching the situation escalate from bank robbery to hostage taking to mass mayhem and beyond!

With the cleverest premise for a film in ages, first-time director Ra Hee-chan turns the traditional bank heist movie on its head, subverting all the conventions of the genre while at the same time managing to work in elements of satire and social criticism, slapstick and more subtle forms of humour—and the result is magical. Jeong Jae-yeong is fabulous as Jung, tackling the most absurd situations with grim determination and bringing a vital touch of sympathetic humanity to what could have been a cold character. Despite the comedic elements, the director injects some real suspense and drama to the proceedings—a difficult balancing act to achieve, realised with great skill. A must-see!

—Robert Guillemette