“(The film) captures the comedic elements that come at unexpected moments. I tried to make it different from existing crime-themed films,” Heo said in a press event for the film Monday.
|The cast of “Snatch-Up” poses for a photo with director Heo Jun-hyeong at a press event in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)|
The movie follows a money bag -- the Korean title of the film -- which each of the seven main characters claims as his.
Kim Mu-yeol plays the role of Min-jae, a desperate youth swimming in debt and medical bills for his ailing mother. He withdraws the deposit for his studio apartment, only for it to be snatched up by a thug -- played by Kim Min-kyo -- who works for a loan shark.
The money, of course, is then snatched by the loan shark -- played by Im Won-hee -- but the cycle of extortion does not stop there as the money is offered as a bribe to lawmaker Moon, portrayed by Jun Kwang-ryul. Also eyeing the cash is a retired killer -- played by Lee Geung-young -- hired by the loan shark to kill Moon and bring back the bribe, a corrupt detective played by Park Hee-soon, and a package delivery man played by Oh Jung-se who unwittingly gets tangled in the middle of all this.
There have been many films about characters fighting over a valued possession that falls into their hands by chance, from the 2015 Korean flick “Intimate Enemies” to the immortal genius of “No Country for Old Men” by the Coen brothers. And the parade of morally or literally bankrupt characters indicate that it may be a picaresque story.
But as Heo suggested, the film appears to go for comedy.
While the plot seems to aim for laughs, Heo said he wishes his movie could reflect the reality.
“All seven characters have a single goal in mind,” said Kim Mu-yeol. “What was interesting about it was that all seven characters feel like the hero of the story. Their story arcs were written so well that I could relate to every one of them.”
“Snatch-Up” is the latest in a recent series of films by rookie directors, such as “The Vanished” by Lee Chang-hee and “The Princess and the Matchmaker“ by Hong Chang-pyo.
“Through the choices made by the seven men, pushed to the edge, I wanted to show the reality of our generation,” the director said.
Park Hee-soon plays yet another detective, after his admirable performance in last year’s film “1987: When the Day Comes.” But he said his character is different from the complicated soul of his previous work.
“He is a detective, on the surface. But he is really just a trouble maker, gambling-lover with anger management issues,” Park said. His character even has his gun pawned, and the process of getting it back is what drags him into the madness.
Two actors who will not be providing comic relief in the film are those whose faces would immediately bring smiles to viewers.
Im Won-hee is best known for his role in comedy flicks and Kim Min-kyo is best known as a crew member of “Saturday Night Live Korea,” but the pair play blood-sucking villains in this film.
“I’ve squeezed out every bit of laughter from my character. It will be the most serious character (in the film),” vowed Kim.
The film opens in local cinemas in April.
By Yoon Min-sik