A Bittersweet Life

A Bittersweet Life

DVD Rating: **1/2

Reviewed by: Tim Bryant

Read Scott Macdonald's film review of A Bittersweet Life

This DVD is pretty sparse in its inclusion of extra features.

A Bittersweet Life In Cannes documents the film's exhibition at the festival, which is reasonably interesting in its detail. The film was premiered at 1am in the morning and was clearly a big deal for the filmmakers and cast. Although interestingly director Kim Jee-Woon reveals that his primary interest is in being successful in Korea first and overseas second.

Copy picture

There are also cast and crew interviews done in an unusual and original way: various members of the production team ask questions of director, ending with, "Why did you do that?", to which he responds in separate later interviews. The questions often reflect members of the crew's irritation with the choices made and Jee-Woon is given the last word to explain his rationale.

This fits in with the playful tone of the film and pranksterish nature of Jee-Woon. A female production designer asks him why he demanded a lot of research into and subsequent shots of sex toys, only later to cut them out. He replies mischievously that she can use the knowledge gained in her future career in movies!

At times like this the format of the interviews gives a real sense of behind the scenes. It is expanded into questions and explanations between other members of the cast, for example from the special effects director to the head of martial arts.

On a more serious note, lead actor Lee Byung-Hun asks why a scene of him shadowboxing from earlier in the story is included at the film's end. Jee-Woon responds earnestly about its reflection of Lee's character, but perhaps disappointingly doesn't bring in to his explanation the idea that most of the film could be a dream fantasy.

The DVD also features an Extreme Asia trailer reel, the original trailer and a choice of three stereo and surround options.

Reviewed on: 28 Apr 2006
Share this with others on...
A Bittersweet Life packshot
A tale of revenge, infidelity and gangland warfare in South Korea.
Amazon link

Product Code: TVD3598

Region: 2

Ratio: 1.85 Anamorphic Wide Screen

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 surround/DTS Digital Surround 5.1/Dolby Digital 2.0

Extras: Cast and crew interviews; Cannes Festival footage; trailer; Tartan Asian Extreme trailer reel

Search database: