Pieta (2012)

A loan shark is forced to reconsider his violent lifestyle after the arrival of a mysterious woman claiming to be his long-lost mother.


Shame some people don't click with his genius.

I really was floored by this, it's extremely dark and twisted but very tender with it.

Fucking brilliant.

7 years ago


Kim Ki-duk's films are renowned for both their provocative content and their subtlety. Pieta is all of the former with none of the latter. In the first half of the film, Kim appears to be making each of his creative decisions based purely upon what he thinks would create the most shock value. And then in the second half, when the film seems like it may finally go in a deeper or at least more original direction, it devolves into a shallow revenge flick that feels like a clichéd homage to Oldboy, without any of that film's emotional resonance.

It's unfortunate, because conceptually the film is promising: a brutal man who cripples debtors for insurance money when they cannot repay their loans begins to be followed by a strange woman purporting to be his long-lost mother, who now wants to be a part of his life. Where the film fails stupendously is in the character development. None of the principal or supporting characters are even remotely believable, and forced into extreme circumstances, they act like they're acting and not like they're human beings revealing an intimate core of themselves. Worse yet, they sometimes ask compelling questions, but then they are responded to with silence or a jump cut, where there was an opportunity to flesh out the characters' philosophies and personalities with meaningful dialogue. (And I won't even get into some of the distracting and amateurish cinematography decisions.)

In short, Pieta is the sort of film that might superficially seem impressive to a teenager, but it really leaves you with nothing to think about or reflect upon once it ends. Sure, some of the content is shocking, and it's intended to make audiences feel uncomfortable, but the plot and even the shocks are so conventional that instead the film just feels tedious. I'm very surprised that Venice chose this film for the Golden Lion, when both P.T. Anderson's The Master and Terrence Malick's To the Wonder were far more original, emotional, well-crafted works.

9 months ago


The kind of film I'd appreciate more for second viewing with everyone's analysis and theories in mind.
That ending though. Impulsively superb, if not stupid.

6 years ago

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8.8% of the viewers favorited this title, 1.9% disliked it

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