[REVIEW] “Veteran” Yoo Ah In: How to Become A Vicious Bastard
Translated by Furbabe
Movie Veteran is the 2015 run away hit
Veteran (director Ryu Seung Wan) managed to garner a whopping 2,7 million on its first week of opening, August 5, making it the South Korean film that surpassed 2 million in the shortest period ever. To this date, the movie has gathered 12,608,783 movie-goers and ranked 7 in the list of Top 10 Most Watched Film Of All Time.
Besides getting the benefit from the casting names, the huge popularity of Veteran also came from director Ryu Seung-wan’s strong directing, exquisite blend of comical and absurdity of a social paradox and conglomerates satirical story in its script, which gives surprise to audience.
Though we get a great entertainment from this delicious dish made of all the actors, the acting duel between young tycoon Yoo Ah In and veteran detective Hwang Jung Min is simply a perfect match, from the verbal conversations to the breathtaking actions, bringing out both tension and delight.
There was a scene where Hwang Jung Min went home, took off his shoes and smelled his feet. It was just a simple scene, and yet Hwang Jung Min depicted excellently, comfortably shows the nonchalantly sense of presence. Yoo Ah In’s performance deserve even more praise precisely because of this.
Despite the power of the director, editor and screenwriter, the actor is the actual component that gives higher points to the movie. For example, in T.O.P’s previous film [Tazza 2, 2014, starring T.O.P and Kim Yun Seok] which has two leading actors, we encounter the leading man being “dragged down” by the other countless times, that even director and screenwriter found it difficult to solve the problem.
Especially in such a commercial film, no matter how hard the director and producer want to create more interesting and sexier scenes, and focus more on the post-production to emphasize the thrilling scenes, they are taken for granted.
Therefore, configuring more attractive actors and story on the front line of a film is necessary and inevitable. In that sense, the quality and the amount of Yoo Ah In’s presence as a villain against veteran Hwang Jung Min doesn’t make less powerful and, in fact, is more meaningful.
Initially, before Yoo Ah In, several top actors have read the script and showed interest in the film due to director Ryoo Seung-wan’s celebrated name. However, afraid that playing a wicked third-generation chaebol could cause the negative impact to their image, they declined the offer.
In addition to the fear of negative image, acting alongside the “Nation’s Charm” Hwang Jung Min absolutely gives a big pressure, as the slightest mistake would only make them a foil [note: a foil is a character who contrasts with the protagonist in order to highlight the protagonist’s quality] .
But Yoo Ah In showed no hesitation. He is a 20-something energetic actor who was gladly accepted the challenge and not afraid of picking a brutal inhumane overweening young plutocrat character.
If you, by nature, want to make money by means of drugs based on the unilateral use of force to control others’ live, this is the interpretation of the despicable Jo Tae Oh by Yoo Ah In.
Were there no desire for transforming and too much concern about the image, it would have been impossible to have the courage to decide taking on this role.
In the movie’s final escape scene, Yoo Ah In was hanging, struggling to escape like a fish on the fishing line, still in his super luxury designer suit. He tilted his head a mere 15 degrees angle and leered at his accomplices high and mighty with cold expression, prompting audience to verbally abuse him, “Kill the bastard!” ***
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