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By James W, Thursday 24th May 2018
Thanks to 88 Films, my experience of Asian cinema has been wildly and widely expanded and Gifted, their latest title is one of their best as it's a true punch to the head and guts piece that is shocking as it is powerful.
In this tense thriller, Min-soo, one of life's losers is laid off from his job whilst his fiance's life is on the up. His brother-in-law to be helps him land a freelance gig, that of stealing cars but though it involves nothing in the way of pay it allows for plenty of murderous pleasure! Will he feel any guilt, or will his murderous ways go undetected by his family?
Written and directed by Jai-hong Juhn, Gifted (also known as Sleepless) is a film that looks at the true horror's in life in a way that's compelling yet raw, violent and bleak. It uses stark neon lighting and grey colour schemes to underline the grim and seriousness on the blood-stained plot. The cast are superb, each one making their role as three dimensional as possible with heartfelt angst and anger. Each person, except for Min-soo's partner are lost, not really existing just pale shadows that are looking for a reason to be alive. It's a strong, slow-burner weaving the plot into a claustrophobic and natural ending.
This Blu-ray transfer is bold and holds real detail in the darker moments. Its gives depth to the claustrophobic murder sequences and detail in Min-soo's face after each crime. The soundtrack is sensitive enough not to drown out the dialogue but heavy enough in places to surround you in the happenings on screen.
It's a shame the disc doesn't come with more extras, it does have a trailer and reversible sleeve, but the main selling point here is being able to view a film that has been around for four years and given such a damn good transfer. Highly recommended.
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