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BIG SWINDLE, THE

South Korea, 2004 (MIFF 2005, Regional Focus)

Director: Choi Dong Hun

Choi Dong-hoon's directorial debut, The Big Swindle, proves that South Korea's golden age of filmmaking is set to continue for a while yet. Carrying on the recent tradition of films that deliver on every front, it's a heist film par excellence: suspenseful, slick and, as a bonus, extremely funny. A young con artist Chang-hyuk (Park Shin-yang) is killed in a car crash after snatching five billion won from the Korea Central Bank. The reconstruction of the crime by the police reveals that Chang-hyuk was operating in partnership with veteran con man Mr Kim and that he had named his brother Chang-ho as the recipient of a massive life-insurance indemnity. Believing that Chang-ho holds the key to the whereabouts of the booty, Mr Kim's girlfriend, In-gyung, befriends him. But neither she nor Mr Kim is quite prepared for the truth behind Chang-hyuk's con game. With a lineage that embraces everything from Rififi, The Sting, Reservoir Dogs and Ocean's Eleven, The Big Swindle is meticulously constructed, stylish and, best of all, smart as hell. Choi Dong-hoon will be attending the festival.

D/S Choi Dong-hoon P Lee Seok-won WS Mirovision Inc. L Korean w/English subtitles TD 35mm/col/2004/116mins. The Big Swindle (MIFF 05) is Choi Dong-hoon's first feature film.

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