Ddongpari (Breathless)
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A violent man learns compassion when he starts to care for a young woman in this independent crime drama. Song-hoon (Yang Ik-june) is a hired thug working for underworld kingpin Man-shik (Jeong Man-shik), whose money buys only so much of Song-hoon's loyalty. Song-hoon has a violent streak and he's not afraid to strike out against those who would turn against him or his boss, making him an enforcer to be reckoned with in the South Korean underworld. But Song-Hoon's life begins to change when he meets Yeong-jae (Lee Hwan), Man-Shik's newest underling. Yeong-jae has a teenage… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Although his first film is only a partial success, Yang Ik-june is a filmmaker worth watching for."
‑ Stephen Cole, Globe and Mail
"Blending a thoughtful cycle-of-violence subplot with a piercing study of how even the most hateful and isolated people inevitably affect those around them, 'Breathless' is a challenging, dynamic experience."
‑ Tom Huddlestone, Time Out
"Impressive first effort by the writer/director/producer/star this downbeat drama is sincere and authentic."
‑ David Parkinson, Empire Magazine
"There's no denying its visceral punch, delivered convincingly with unsteady, hand-held camerawork and profanity-spewing dialogue that makes The Thick Of It sound like Yes Minister. It'll leave you breathless alright."
‑ Tim Evans, Sky Movies
"Gripping to watch, but make sure you are prepared."
‑ Tommy Holgate, Sun Online
"Breathless pummels viewers with nearly the same ferocity and frequency with which the characters assault each other."
‑ Jason Anderson, Toronto Star
"We will give Yang, the film's writer, director, and star, the benefit of the doubt by assuming his chronicle of relentless cruelty is not autobiographical."
‑ Chris Chang, Film Comment Magazine
"One of the most relentlessly abusive movies you will ever see - the dialogue is a non-stop torrent of profanity, and the action consists of one brutal beating after another. Yet it cries out to be seen."
‑ Tom Charity, Times [UK]
"As brazen as you'd expect from a film with a name that recalls an arthouse tentpole, this debut from writer-director-star Yang Ik-Joon is tonally, one-of-a-kind odd-couple movie."
‑ Kevin Harley, Total Film
"Wearyingly violent and drearily shot."
‑ Leo Robson, Financial Times
"Amid the violent outbursts are moments of warmth and tenderness, some featuring the protagonist's young nephew, the best hope for breaking the generational cycles of domestic tragedy."
‑ Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader
"Although Yang's directorial debut is overlong and unecessarily laboured in the early section, he is genuinely bringing something fresh to the table in terms of the atmosphere he creates."
‑ Amber Wilkinson, Eye for Film
"A horribly nasty and violent drama."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"A film that works thanks to characters who aren't mere ciphers but come with deep, if hidden, emotions."
‑ David Edwards, Daily Mirror [UK]
"Hard to watch, at times, but brimming with vitality."
‑ Anthony Quinn, Independent
More reviews for Ddongpari (Breathless) on Rotten Tomatoes