Plot: “Holiday ” is based upon an actual incident whose roots lie in the Korean government’s preparations for the 1988 Olympics, which saw them destroy countless neighbourhoods to make way for new developments in order to impress foreign visitors. In most cases, these neighbourhoods were squatter settlements whose inhabitants were forcibly cast onto the streets. This story is brought passionately to life by director Yang Yun-ho (“Fighter in the Wind”), who crafts it into a moving and violent tale of inequality.
The film’s plot follows Ji Kang Hyuk (Lee Song Jae, also in “Public Enemy”), whose best friend is gunned down during one of the clearances, and who is himself sent to prison. Here, he has the misfortune to fall under the care of Ahn Seok (played by Choi Min Soo, who starred in the director’s “Libera Me”), who just happens to be the man who killed his friend. After suffering under Ahn’s brutal regime, Ji and a motley gang of other inmates manage to escape, planning to draw attention to the oppressive and corrupt laws which have ruined so many lives.
«” Holiday ” does not make for particularly cheerful viewing, and is more likely to be enjoyed by those seeking a gritty, depressing slice of Korean social history rather than the usual police thrillers. Although a little overlong and painfully earnest in places, it is certainly gripping, and though perhaps admirable rather than enjoyable, it stands as a worthy, well crafted piece of heartfelt and politically-charged cinema.»
«The movie never gets boring and it's worthy of praise that there is even a message that the film wants to convey. Some final touches would have been great, but even as it is we get a nice and at times even touching drama. »
«Enter Yang's latest, Holiday. Again Yang's technical skill is abundantly clear and, once again, the script is the film's glaring weakness. Emotionally manipulative on a level that would make Spielberg blush with shame Holiday's characters are written in the broadest possible strokes, the point of the script driven home with a force equivalent to using a sledge hammer to drive in a tack.»
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