Friday 25 January 2013

"The King of Pigs" (Metro 25/01/13)

The King of Pigs (uncertificated) 97 mins ***

This bracing Korean animation persists with a theme familiar from the country’s more extreme live-action exports: brutally angry men trying to work out what it was that made them mad in the first place. Two unhappy thirtysomethings meet for the first time since their schooldays, and start discussing the bullying they suffered at the hands of rich classmates. These bitter reminiscences cue an extended flashback that often resembles Napoleon Dynamite as redrawn by extremely alienated sociopaths: a never knowingly understated outpouring of high-school traumas that extends to cat murder, glue-huffing, multiple suicides and casual sexual humiliations. Writer-director Yeon Sang-ho places his sympathies firmly with the victims, deploying deliberately jerky, scratchy animation to describe the brute, animalistic ugliness of the world his characters skulk through: it’s a vision of sorts, but one you’ll need a strong stomach to see out.

The King of Pigs opens in selected cinemas from today.

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