Sinsegye [New World] (2013)

Sunday, 1. December 2013

Director: Hoon-jung Park
Writer: Hoon-jung Park
Cast: Jung-Jae Lee, Jeong-min Hwang, Min-sik Choi, Seong-Woong Park
Part of: Viennale

Ja-Sung (Jung-Jae Lee) has been working undercover for the Goldmoon crime syndicate for several years now and has moved up the ladder quite a bit, becoming second in command’s Jung Chung’s (Jeong-min Hwang). So when the syndicate’s boss dies in a car accident, his handler Kang (Min-sik Choi) thinks that Ja-Sung is in the perfect position to see to it that the right person becomes the successor. But Ja-Sung, who has a pregnant wife, just wants to go home. And he isn’t actually sure who has his interest best at heart – Kang or Jung Chung.

New World looks great, has a good cast and an interesting, if not very novel story but it’s also a little unclear and a little long at times. Still, it’s really good.


Actually the thing that had me most excited when I left the movie was the soundtrack. It was just amazingly beautiful, gave me goosebumps and fit the film perfectly.

The second thing that stayed with me was the look of the film. The colors, the camera, the general atmosphere – Hoon-jung Park really pulls all the stops in that department and the result is stunning.


The rest of the film was still very good – especially the cast – but couldn’t quite keep up with those two elements. Though the weakest link certainly was the storytelling and plot. The alliances and motivations aren’t always that clear and there is a whole of infodumpy exposition to bring in more clarity and I couldn’t help but feel that it should have been resolved more elegantly than that. Other things were really very obvious and could have done with a bit more subtlety. And it generally could have done with a bit of shortening and tightening.

But despite those weaknesses I did enjoy New World and the story it told. Apart from its beauty, I really liked the relationship between Ja-sung and Jung Chung, and Kang’s unabashed politicizing that made him a joy to hate.


Summarizing: Good and most of all beautiful.

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