The film revolves around an actor who finds his career in jeopardy after he beat up another guy on the set of his latest gangster drama film. I can usually handle chick flicks but this one consistently made me uncomfortable, which could be a sign of its effectiveness. Continuing with the plot, With no actors willing to act opposite him in the fight scenes, the movie is in turmoil. The ‘movie within a movie’ premise is interesting and I can honestly say I was glued to my seat the entire time.
Fortunately, the film doesn’t take the easy route to play straight forward with the borders of reality and fiction. This is actually done in a more subtle approach. Rough Cut is the kind of violent, urban actioner that is so popular in Korea and the rest of Asia, and that the Korean industry adopted from Hong Kong just about a decade ago. Not to mention these type of films are ones I usually gravitate towards. Women are manipulative accessories to be traded and violence comes in sudden barrages.
Rough Cut is a film that really asks it’s audience to suspend disbelief in order to be entertained. Because the plot is quite absurd, I mean, in what reality would a movie studio be willing to employ a “real” gangster in their film for the sake of realism? One other thing I also noticed is that the film’s screenplay became darker, more violent as the movie progresses, as the viewer becomes more privy to Gang Pae’s life. The film has its share of good fight scenes, but frankly they’re not the film’s showstopper.
But despite some plot holes, Rough Cut does make its premise work, and the screenplay stays grounded enough to stay with its momentum. I think it can easily be said that Rough Cut is one of the best movies I will see this year. It’s complex, entertaining and much deeper than I expected. On the surface Rough Cut looks like the average Korean action movie, but it couldn’t be furthur from the truth as Rough Cut is a fantastic drama about class divisions, lost dreams, personal change and loyalty. This film made its rounds last month at the Toronto After Dark festival, so if you weren’t able to attend, catching it in theaters will be slim, so you’ll have to import this bad boy.