Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 22nd, 2012
BluRay released: October 9th, 2012
Approximate running time: 116 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 Korean, Dolby Digital Stereo Korean
BluRay Release: Well Go USA
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.98
When it comes to revenge themed thrillers South Korean cinema all but has this market cornered. And while most North American cinema goers are sure to be familiar with Chan-wook Park’s vengeance trilogy (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Old Boy, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance) and Jee-woon Kim’s I Saw the Devil. There is still a wealth of South Korean revenge themed waiting to be discovered.
This brings us to Bedevilled, a tale about two childhood friends, who went in separate directions after a traumatic childhood event. One of these friends a young woman named Hae-won left the island from which spent her youth and moved to Seoul, while her childhood friend Kim Bok-nam has remained on the aforementioned island.
After years of not speaking to each other Hae-won returns to the island where she was born. When an altercation with a coworker leads to her being fired. Thus begins her downward spiral. Once reunited with her childhood friend Kim Bok-nam, she quickly remembers why she left the island in the first place.
Now with child Kim Bok-nam is also in an psychically and mentally abusive marriage. And it only a matter of time before she finally reaches her breaking point. Will Hae-won rescue her or will she once again turn a blind eye to those, who are tormenting Kim Bok-nam?
Though this film is deeply rooted in the revenge themed genre. It is equally a film about second chances. Without giving away to much more of the plot, let’s just say that the film opening moments foreshadow what is about to come and what has passed in regards to the character of Hae-won.
Right from the get go this film does a pitch perfect job establishing who everyone is and what their motivations are? Unfortunately for anyone expecting to find any sympathy in any of the characters which populate this story. There is none to be found in this film, even this film’s protagonist Kim Bok-nam, the victim in this melodrama is also devoid of any endearing qualities.
Content wise, the subject matter is gut wrenching to digest and the violence depicted on screen is often gruesome. Fortunately the performance from the entire cast are exceptional, especially Yeong-hie Seo (The Chaser) in the role of Kim Bok-nam, the ‘bedevilled’ character at the heart of this macabre tale. Another area in which this film often excels is how it throws social commentary into the story at hand.
Bedevilled comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, details look crisp and there are no problems with compression.
This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in Korean and a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in Korean. Both audio mixes sound great throughout, with the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack being fully exploited. Also range wise the DTS-HD 5.1 mix in Korean sounds robust and dynamic throughout. Also include with this release are removable English subtitles.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (1 minute 36 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Korean with English subtitles) and a ‘Behind the Scenes’ featurette (12 minutes 45 seconds – 4:3 full frame, in Korean with English subtitles). This releases main extra ‘Behind the Scenes’ featurette is essentially a collection of onset footage and nothing much more. Also included with this release are trailers for other titles also available from Well Go USA. Overall Bedevilled gets a solid audio / video presentation from Well Go USA.
Note: This film is also being released by Well Go USA on DVD.