Ballerina film assessment: Bone-crunching motion meets breathtaking visuals in Netflix’s new Korean motion movie | Film-review Information5 min read

Ballerina film assessment: Neon visuals and a thumping soundtrack elevate Netflix’s slickly packaged Korean revenge thriller that substitutes plot in favour of pure vibes.

ballerina movie reviewJeon Jong-seo in a nonetheless from Ballerina. (Picture: Netflix)

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Premiering his new movie Aggro Dr1ft on the latest Venice Movie Pageant, director Concord Korine declared that he now not cares for plot. “Vibes” and “vapours,” he stated, are essentially the most important components of cinema. Korine, the provocateur behind movies comparable to Gummo and Spring Breakers, could be slightly happy with director Lee Chung-hyun’s Ballerina, the brand new Korean film on Netflix. It’s a 90-minute motion romp with so little plot and a lot throbbing synth that it may well principally qualify as an prolonged Weeknd music video.

There’s one thing to be stated a couple of movie whose script was most likely now not than 20 pages. Armed with the barest excuse of a plot, Ballerina bounces from one scene to the subsequent, combining bone-crunching motion with a balletic tempo. Jeon Jong-seo, finest recognized for her roles in Burning and in director Lee’s final Netflix movie, The Name, stars as Okay-ju, a younger girl with a mysterious previous.

Out of the blue one night, Okay-ju receives a phonecall from an previous good friend, who summons her over to her home instantly. After making a fast pit-stop to select up some alcohol — Okay-ju appears keen on Bombay Sapphire — Okay-ju exhibits up at her good friend Min-hee’s condominium, solely to find that she has taken her personal life. Within the cryptic observe that she left behind, Min-hee instructed Okay-ju to avenge her loss of life. As a clue, she pointed her within the path of a person named Chef Choi.

Choi, a mid-level drug lord performed by Kim Ji-hoon, has the face of Brandon Lee and the smarmy allure of Jared Leto. Oj-ju discovers that Choi is operating a side-hustle via which he grooms younger ladies, forces them to take part in snuff movies below the affect of medicine, after which threatens to leak the movies on-line. He operates out of a mystical mansion some miles outdoors of city, and drives a black Lamborghini. How typical.

The neon night-scape of Korea comes alive in Ballerina, as Okay-ju takes turns pretending to be La Femme Nikita and The Woman with the Dragon Tattoo in her blood-soaked revenge mission. She scowls and seethes as she makes regular progress, leaving a path of our bodies in her wake. However the motion, no less than for the primary hour or so, is disappointingly uneven. Despite the fact that it’s apparent that director Lee has an eye fixed for putting imagery, a extra fluid type of fight-choreography would’ve maybe been a greater match for the kind of film he’s making an attempt to make, the kind of film that the title is hinting at.

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However as stunning as ballet can usually be, the dance kind has an underlying brutality that’s usually ignored. And that’s the dissonance that Lee’s movie captures so properly. Drawing from the talents that she acquired in her previous life, Okay-ju’s preliminary rampage is slightly inelegant. However she evolves to embrace a extra swish — and dare I say, attractive — fight type in direction of the tip. Ballerina peaks in its climactic motion set-piece, staged inside a fluorescent weed farm and that includes the right variety of expendable goons. That is the primary time that the film earns its stripes, and lives as much as the guarantees that it had made in its tantalising opening moments. The cool cynicism implodes, making manner for visuals that reek of romance for motion cinema. Ardour like that’s troublesome to disregard.

Ballerina is the form of film the place the sounds and photos, not the story, are supposed to interact the viewer. Even when you end up disinterested within the revenge mission, every body feels so intricately designed which you can’t assist however lean in for a better look. It’s the very definition of a type over substance movie, however that’s what it needs to be. Nothing extra, and nothing much less. It might be unfair to criticise it for not having the depth it by no means pretended to own within the first place.

Director – Lee Chung-hyun
Forged – Jeon Jong-seo, Kim Ji-hoon, Park Yu-rim
Ranking – 3.5/5

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First revealed on: 07-10-2023 at 07:58 IST

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