A Bittersweet Life

Watch A Bittersweet Life

"When doing right goes very, very wrong."
  • NR
  • 2005
  • 2 hr
  • 7.5  (42,615)

A Bittersweet Life is a Korean film directed and written by Kim Jee-woon. The movie was released in 2005 and stars Lee Byung-hun, Shin Min-a, and Yeong-cheol Kim. It is an action-packed thriller that tells the story of Sun-woo, a successful gangster who becomes embroiled in a power struggle within his own organization. Sun-woo is the right-hand man of a powerful crime lord named Kang, who is played by Yeong-cheol Kim. Kang is a ruthless man who values loyalty above all else. When Kang asks Sun-woo to keep an eye on his young girlfriend, Hee-soo, played by Shin Min-a, he reluctantly agrees. As he spends time with Hee-soo, however, Sun-woo begins to develop feelings for her.

When Kang discovers that Hee-soo has been unfaithful to him, he orders Sun-woo to kill her. Sun-woo, who is torn between his loyalty to Kang and his feelings for Hee-soo, decides to spare her life. This sets off a violent chain of events that leads Sun-woo to take on Kang and his entire organization.

The movie is beautifully shot, with stunning cinematography and a pulsating soundtrack that adds to the tension and drama. Lee Byung-hun's performance as Sun-woo is exceptional, capturing the character's cool, collected exterior and the inner turmoil he is experiencing. He moves effortlessly between moments of intense violence and quiet reflection, making the character both menacing and sympathetic.

Shin Min-a's portrayal of Hee-soo is also impressive, despite having relatively little screen time. She is able to convey a range of emotions with subtle gestures and expressions, making the audience empathize with her character's predicament.

The action scenes in the movie are expertly choreographed and executed, with both hand-to-hand combat and gunfights taking center stage. The violence is brutal and graphic, but never gratuitous, with each act of aggression serving to advance the plot and deepen the characters.

One of the standout aspects of the movie is its use of symbolism and metaphor. Sun-woo is seen throughout the film wearing a suit, which represents his role as a professional hitman who carries out his job with precision and elegance. He also has an affinity for flowers, particularly the lily, which symbolizes death and is used to foreshadow the violence that is to come.

The bittersweet nature of the title is also reflected in the story itself. Sun-woo's journey is one of both triumph and tragedy, as he ultimately pays a heavy price for his actions, both good and bad. The film leaves the audience with a sense of melancholy, reminding us that even in victory there can be loss.

Despite being a violent and intense thriller, A Bittersweet Life is ultimately a character study. Sun-woo's internal conflict and the relationships he forges with Hee-soo and Kang are what drives the plot forward. The movie is a gripping exploration of loyalty, betrayal, and personal redemption.

In conclusion, A Bittersweet Life is a must-watch for fans of action movies and Korean cinema. It is a stylish and well-crafted film that combines thrilling action with deep character development. Lee Byung-hun's performance as Sun-woo is one of the highlights of the movie, and the film's use of symbolism and metaphor adds an extra layer of depth to the story. Overall, A Bittersweet Life is a powerful and poignant exploration of the human condition.

A Bittersweet Life is a 2005 action movie with a runtime of 2 hours. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.5.

A Bittersweet Life
Where to Watch A Bittersweet Life
A Bittersweet Life is available to watch free on Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download on demand at . Some platforms allow you to rent A Bittersweet Life for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.5  (42,615)