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[Preview] Stellar Performances from Jeong & Jeon in ′Countdown′

Rating Rating more One Star

2011.09.26 14:10 Mwave Lee, JinHo

A movie starring ‘The Queen of Cannes’, Jeon Do Yeon, as well as top actor Jeong Jae Young might be worth watching simply because of the two leads.

The two movie stars have teamed up for the movie Countdown nine years after they costarred in No Blood No Tears. As the two leads are well-known for their superb acting skills and discerning eye for high-quality scripts, curiosity has been ramped up to an all-time high, especially after it was selected to screen in the Special Presentations section of the 36th Toronto International Film Festival.

[Preview] Stellar Performances from Jeong & Jeon in ′Countdown′

[Preview] Stellar Performances from Jeong & Jeon in ′Countdown′

[Preview] Stellar Performances from Jeong & Jeon in ′Countdown′

But how have the two film stars changed over the last nine years? (Warning: Spoilers ahead.)

The movie contains a story about Tae Geon Ho (Jeong Jae Young), who is a heartless debt collector who never feels the slightest sympathy for debtors. He gathers his debt by any means necessary. He even takes every last penny from a debtor who attempts to burn himself to death by saying, “What you need now is not sympathy, but courage to stab the person in their chest.”

By working as a debt collector, he finally manages to pay off his own debt. But he is diagnosed with liver cancer and is told he needs to have a transplant within 10 days to have any chance of surviving beyond three months. The only way to get a surgery is to find someone who has a liver with matching tissue, and his only hope hangs on the con artist, Cha Ha Yeon, played by Jeon. The deal between the two kicks off the ‘countdown’.

[Preview] Stellar Performances from Jeong & Jeon in ′Countdown′

The movie Countdown stands out in not only thanks to its high-stakes storyline, but also due to the two lead actors and their superb performances.

Jeong Jae Young plays the role of heartless debt collector remarkably with his blunt attitude and eyes, and perfectly paced action scenes strengthen the charm of the movie. However, Tae Geon Ho gradually changes as the truth surrounding his son’s death is disclosed and when he begins to feel sympathy for Cha Ha Yeon, Jeong manages to effectively portray a man who begins to transform from a cold-hearted man to a fragile father.

As for Jeon Do Yeon, the actress convinces the audience that no one else could even attempt to play the role of Cha Ha Yeon. The actress constantly changes her face throughout the film, and only her brazen expression and arrogant eyes let on that her character is a con artist. At her expression on the scene of her first appearance, the audience is likely to exclaim, “No one can do it quite like Jeon Do Yeon”

The supporting actors, Lee Kyeong Young, Oh Man Seok and Kim Dong Wook, who can often be seen as main leads, only added to the movie’s appeal. In particular, Oh Man Seok, who’s often seen in calm and gentle roles, displayed a surprising transformation.

[Preview] Stellar Performances from Jeong & Jeon in ′Countdown′

On top of the excellent performance, its quick pacing, tight storyline and skilled directing reinforced the film. Interestingly enough, the movie has something in it that is reminiscent of the two leads’ former movie, No Blood No Tears.

But there is something that is lacking. In the latter half, the genre blurs due to its emphasis on humanism. For the rookie director, Heo Jong Ho, it might have been difficult to resist the temptation to go after too much in his debut film.

Nevertheless, the film is sure to be a hit, and is well worth watching, especially if you’re a moviegoer who seeks out heart-racing action and heart-warming drama at the same time.

Photo credit: Countdown

Translation credit: Misun Lee


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Jeon Do Yeon 20110926 Jeong Jae Yeong 20110926 Countdown 20110926
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