Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Night in Paradise (2021)

Streaming Services: Netflix
Movie Name/Year: Night in Paradise (2021)
Genre: Crime, Drama
Length: 131 minutes
Rating: TV-MA
Production/Distribution: Goldmoon Film, Netflix
Director: Park Hoon-jung
Writer: Park Hoon-jung
Actors: Tae-goo Eom, Yeo-bin Jeon, Seung-Won Cha, Dong-in Cho, Park Ho-San, Bong-sik Hyun, Soon-bae Cha, Byung-ho Son, Lee Gi-yeong, Mun-shik Lee, Se-bin Ahn, Jang Young-Nam
Blurb from IMDb: Hiding out in Jeju Island following a brutal tragedy, a wronged mobster with a target on his back connects with a woman who has her own demons.

Selina’s Point of View:
We have had a lot of dark movies recently, and this one is no exception.
Films reflect the culture that makes them. Not just in setting and language, either. Audiences from different countries prefer different endings, content, concepts, character types, etc. In the USA, audiences tend to prefer a happy ending. That’s why you see stuff like The Descent (2005) and 28 Days Later (2002) with alternate endings for showings in different countries.
In fact, the entire content of a film could be drastically different just based on the culture of the writer/director/studio. Whether there are sex scenes, gore, or even just extended scenes with child actors, depends on what culture claims a film.
There are exceptions, of course. I’m going into this specifically to explain how I generally alter my expectations going into a foreign film.
I’m a big fan of Korean cinema. I’ve even started learning Korean so that I can eventually watch it without worrying about dubbing or subtitles. (It’s slow-going, but I’ll get there.) Because of that, I knew Night in Paradise would be brutal. I find that Korean films go much harder than people tend to expect.
With a mob story, even in the USA, very few of them have any kind of happy ending. So, I had no idea how it would translate, culturally.

It was GRIM. It may have been the bleakest film I’ve ever seen. Not in a bad way, mind you; but ‘depressing’ doesn’t quite say enough.
It was an interesting watch. Never-the-less, it’s one of those films you never really go back to, because of just how dark it is.
There were parts in the beginning that were a bit disjointed – specifically where time-line was concerned, but it was only a scene or two. Otherwise, it drops the audience right into the story and never slows down again.
Netflix labels it a ‘slow burn’. I disagree. I didn’t feel like there was any down time at all.
Night in Paradise was a good movie, but it was long. If you really like this style of film, and you’re a fan of Korean movies, you’re not going to feel time pass. If you’re not already a fan, however, this is not the place to start.
Personally, I really liked it.

Cat’s Point of View:
Night in Paradise is one of the movies that caught my attention when we came across the trailer. It didn’t make my Top 20 list, but only by the narrowest of margins.
At first blush, the trailer promised a story about a Korean mafioso laying low and meeting a girl with a grim outlook in the process. There were flashes of gunplay and action scenes. It was very effective at drawing me in. Of course, the bonus is that Netflix also offers an English dubbed version if you aren’t up for subtitles. It seemed like it would be a win-win, really.
In the wake of the final credits, I found myself torn.

On the one hand, the movie delivered what the trailer promised. Some aspects were absolutely glorious. Unfortunately, the film was overburdened with a lot of fluff in the scene transitioning that made the whole thing drag out forever. They could have probably shaved off an hour and it would have been fine.
The lengthy scenery shots almost lost me in a few places. Fortunately, the story kicked right back in and spared me from boredom.
I enjoyed the characters, the acting, the action was on point, and the story was satisfying. In any other situation, I would be raving that everyone has got to see this gem of a film. Unfortunately, with the bonkers turtle-like pacing, it knocks the overall enjoyability of the movie down a few pegs.
Still, if you can take the length with a grain of salt, I’d say it’s worth a watch.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 73%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 71%
Metascore – 59/100
Metacritic User Score – 7.5/10
IMDB Score – 6.7/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating4/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating3/5
Movie Trailer:

No comments:

Post a Comment