Plot: Byung-du is a 29-year-old career criminal, working for the middle-rank enforcer Sang-chul. Burdened with a terminally ill mother and taking care of younger siblings, Byung-du is feeling financial pressure as a substitute patriarch. When the big boss President Hwang is cornered by a corrupt prosecutor, Byung-du volunteers for a whack job and wins the big man's trust. However, his real trouble begins when friend Min-ho, an aspiring movie director, asks him to be a consultant for the latter's debut film.
«The best Korean gangster movie since "Friend," "A Dirty Carnival" elevates the genre to an epic narrative level as it follows the rise and emotional decline of a smalltime hoodlum. Full of swiftly etched, well-developed characters and peppered with taut action sequences, pic has the kind of long-reaching dramatic span more often seen in regular dramas.»
«Ultimately, A Dirty Carnival is just that, a circus of Shakespearean themes about the rise and fall of not just one man who tried to get ahead in life, but also how his successes and failures affected -- and afflicted -- all those around him.»
«Such lofty aims aside, “A Dirty Carnival” is on more basic terms a gripping and thrilling drama that features plenty in the way of stabbings, mass brawls and corpses being buried in the woods at night.»
«A Dirty Carnival is a gritty gangster movie, that attempts to offer one of the more realistic portrayals of the mafia in Korea. It will likely appeal to action fans that crave a gritty, realistic mafia movie that provides more than its shares of brutal fight sequences. Although the film is long, it never felt slow and was, mostly, compelling throughout its runtime.»
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