I watched this movie on the plane back from my holiday trip in 2009. I did not expect Yong Ha to end his life in 2010 so this is considered as his last work. He hardly shoots movies so how does he fare in here?
Hyun-soo (Park Yong Ha) is unemployed for 5 years after losing everything in the stock market. He learns how to buy stocks himself. He buys stocks for Omega Telecommunication coincidentally and earns a lot of money. This disturbs Jong-gu’s plan to lose millions.
Jong-gu (Park Hee Soon) is the leader of a famous gangster group. He has been controlling the stocks to bag in a lot of money for himself to become an investor now. He is still unsatisfied with what he has even with the help from 4 experienced stock brokers. So he brings Hyun-soo to help out as he admires his talents. Or rather being kidnapped to assist him. They prepare to swallow 6 billion won this time for a big scam. He is considered talented but the others are also well equipped with the skills.
Besides Jong-gu, there are a financial planner Seo-yeon (Kim Min Jeong), a big investor in Da Shan construction, Chang-joo (Jo Deok Hyun), Korean-American fund manager Brian (Kim Joon Seong) and bond broker Min-hyun (Kim Moo Yeol). Jong-gu gets irritated by Brian who is more fluent in speaking English and the rest have to translate details to him.
Their main target is Da Shan company. They have to start all kinds of fake stories to come up with environment techniques to improve the water condition. They work for Jong-gu not just because of their fear of his influence but also their greed for money.
Seo-yeon is intelligent in persuading clients to listen to her. Min-hyun gets the facts correct in most calculations while Chang-joo also drops hints to the shareholders. Seo-yeon’s client is to buy the stocks to give them the opportunity. They make use of a stock viewer and a foreign reviewer to absorb foreign investment. The big investment is to expand and attract ignorant investors to buy more stocks.
As the operation starts to come into a bigger scale, everyone doesn’t believe in one another although it seems peaceful initially. They come up with their own plans to backstab each other so this is the bigger scam in comparison. Unlike them, Hyun-soo only wants to stay alive and gets what he deserves. Are the rest able to save their skin from Jong-gu when he discovers that they have swallowed his money?
It has a strong cast of experienced actors and talented newcomers. The story comes from the Korean stock exchange. It depicts a better picture of the stocks, unlike the unrealistic Hong Kong drama ‘Greed of man’. The director took 2 years to interview the professionals to write the story. The expressions of all are well captured to show how rivalry starts to build between the characters.
All of them are nicely dressed in suits and the monetary war starts in the office. This war doesn’t squeeze any blood but it squeezes cash out of everyone’s pockets. All are eager for benefits and they believe in whatever they see or hear.
However, it can be boring as Yong Ha’s role is predicted to be a good guy right from the start. As boring as the role of Xiang He in ‘Winter Sonata’. If only he is turned into a villain – that will be another cliff hanger to bring a twist to it. How can person be not as tempted by money as much as the rest? I shall also leave you to guess if Seo-yeon becomes Hyun-joo’s girlfriend in the end. No prizes, though.
Never have I get to see Min Jeong so beautiful. She also instills wits into her role although she is the only rose among the thorns. The most attractive role is Hee Soon’s portrayal. This gangster is well-dressed but vulgar in language. Yet, this uncultured man can come up with such a big scam. How unexpected!
The development can be confusing at times if the viewer isn’t familiar with the stock terms. Like the leads, we also have to rely on our own instinct to see if they can survive. I shall not elaborate on the process as you really need to watch it for yourself to find out more. But be rest assured that you will like the ending to see Jong-gu’s reaction when he discovers that he is being outsmart by the rest.
Sukting’s ratings :
On acting : ***(Scale of 5)
On story : *** (Scale of 5)