For the emperor

For the emperor

Streaming Video - 2014 | Korean
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A disgraced pro baseball player goes to work for a mob-connected loan shark, rising through the ranks of money and power. But when his love interest disappears, he finds himself in a deadly battle of wits against his bloodthirsty mentor.
Publisher: [United States] : Well Go USA : Made available through hoopla, 2014.
Branch Call Number: eVideo hoopla
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 video file (ca. 105 min.)) : sd., col.
Restrictions on Access: Digital content provided by hoopla.


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Feb 03, 2018

Hwan is a baseball player on his way up who gets greedy (or is it impatient?) and agrees to fix games. He's caught in a raid and his reputation is ruined. With no other (well-paying) prospects, he joins Emperor Capital under Jeong Sang-ha, a powerful loan shark who takes a shine to Hwan. The job requires more than a little blood, but the rewards are great; within a few years, Hwan is wealthy and powerful himself.

Early into his career, Hwan meets and becomes obsessed with Cha Yeon-Soo, a beautiful bar owner. Hwan's attachment to her might be a respectable human connection, but from the beginning it's clear that he wants to possess her. For her part, Yeon-Soo alternates between wanting to protect him from Sang-ha and seeing him as a meal ticket.

Sang-ha, however, is little better than a VP; the real force is the chairman Han-deuk. If Hwan is youthful passion and Sang-ha measured ruthlessness, Han-deuk is vulgar power, not the least because he delights in reminding people who's in charge. When he forces Yeon-Soo to grant him a sexual favor, her relationship with Hwan begins to fester; when she disappears, Hwan's becomes both more reckless and brutal and plots to take over Emperor Capital itself.

The ending will leave viewers feeling empty, but that's part of the point. Hwan, Sang-ha and Han-deuk in their own ways are obsessed with power, symbolized by both money and bloodshed, but in the end it's less than cold comfort. Actor Park Sung-Woong gives Sang-ha, the character with perhaps the most wisdom, a melancholy that betrays the decency he wants to have, and his desire to mentor Hwan is his attempt to give his life some meaning beyond cash and power.

Not the greatest film of this genre, but thought-provoking nonetheless.

Jun 29, 2017

[王道/為了皇帝] 演員 李民基 朴勝雄


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