Dirty Carnival is the 2nd installment of Director Yoo-Ha's violence-themed trilogy. The first installment dealt with violence at a younger age (high school). Now Yoo-Ha (also the write of the movie) opens with the story that's been told many times before, a young gangster trying to make it big in the world.
Byung-Du is a low level boss in Sang Chul which is his superior boss's gang. He is 29 years old and he hasn't "made" it yet, and his underlings are still dressing in filthy and cheap clothes, his family is about to get kick out of thier house, and all the jobs he gets are being a loan shark and getting the money back from people that owe the gang money. Sang Chul isn't too fond of taking care of Byung-Du either, and with that in mind. After a drinking event with the big boss Hwang, Byung-Du decides to take an offer from boss Hwang, one that will change his life forever. In an effort to not divulge all details about the movie, well we've all seen some forms of gangster movies and all know where this is heading. What makes "Dirty Carnival" stand out from the rest of the crime/mob/gangster movies is that it truely focuses on the struggle of the characters and why they must do what they do. There are three main action sequences in the movie and they shine differently from movies such as "Police Story' or even Kill Bill. They aren't highly stylized or glamorized, rather it shows the brutal reality of a fight. The use of long takes, jump cuts, and realness of the fights will grab the audience to make them feel for the characters. This movie works on many levels that such gangster movies cannot. It is highly recommended.
Review by: David Park a Karmaloop Rep member who won this past months BLOG submission contest.