Have you ever thought how lost and distraught one can be following the loss of his/her loved ones? I guess this is a point that is worth pondering over, especially when we are witnessing such a tragedy unfolding in Japan.
" The Man From Nowhere", widely known as "Ajeossi" in South Korea, essentially depicts a man who has withdrawn himself from the society and lost his sense of worth and living due to the lost of his loved ones. However, he finally began to show affection and fondness in the little girl lives down the street; it was just like how tin man finally found his heart. They were each other's only friend. So when she is taken away, he fights with all his might and wit because he cannot possibly handle the loss of his only beloved friend.
This simple plot is very well executed. In terms of the pacing, it was just right and through subtle interactions between Taesik (played by Won Bin) and Somi (played by Kim Sae-ron), they show their high interdependency and chemistry. There was not a single part of the movie that is boring. Your tension is constantly kept at high, and you will be sometimes treated with some tidbits of laughter.
The narrative is definitely not the only attraction to this movie that eventually became the top selling movie in South Korea in the year 2010. Possibly the other main attraction is the film's cinematography. This movie has superb fight choreography (underscores superb). Brace yourself for a bloody massacre, but one that is not just of a bloody mess but of mission and gracefulness. This, coupled with creative angles and excellent sound effects, you get a movie that is of high production value. This alone assures you that the money that you spend on the movie is worthwhile.
How can one forget the other important factor? It's the protagonist. Won Bin has made several breakthroughs in his acting career that started back in 1997. However, this is probably by far the most successful role that he has taken up. With this single role, he has bagged 7 awards. Is that justified? Certainly! From the initial bizarre look and stare, to later on how he soften his look towards the little girl he wants to protect, to the flashback where it depict his downfall and devastation, to the ruthless and merciless look that was fuelled by hatred and despair when he was in search of the little girl
they were all effectively delivered to the audience. You can get so drawn into his acting that you may feel the sheer violence is justified. One moment you grief with the man who lost his loved ones, the next moment you crease your forehead at his brutality. The balance of this multi-faceted character is definitely not easy, but Won Bin did it. Also commendable is that there was no stuntman that stood in for the combat scenes. All the fist, knives and guns action were executed by him. His black belt in Taekwondo definitely comes in handy for his role. Indeed he has proved himself to be more than just an eye candy.
As the movie is coming to an end, it takes on a twist that prevented another episode of tragedy. The ending scene was definitely perplexing at first, but it turns out to be the man has finally found his 'home' for his heart, where he can pour out his affection and love once more. With the calming ending track leading into the credits, you cannot help but be affected, that is being moved to tears. To sum it all: great acting, great production, great movie.