If I Had A Heart is a brilliant and engrossing movie about an abandoned man’s fight for life. Set in the bustling city of Seoul, this Korean short movie encompasses the need to push forward, no matter what brutality it aims at us. It follows the sad story of a fighter Sam Il who narrates his tale. As a baby, he was abandoned by his mother in a coin locker with a note that urged him to accept and fight death. If I Had A Heart follows this brutal and harrowing story.
Written and directed by two British brothers Matthew and Simon Halsall, If I Had A Heart conveys this heart crushing darkness and intelligence that sets them apart from other shorts. Although bleak, it is about that ray of light in the darkness; yourself and your own acceptance of death. Our lead Sam powerhouses through his tale that sets him in the murky underworld, and mirrors films of such dismay as Korean Oldboy or Drive.
The Halsall Brothers’ choice to set their tale in Korea is a bold one but they use it effectively to create some violent but provoking shots. They unearth every detail and despite the night soaked drama being forthright, the directors mirror the violence inside Sam with the violence of the city. As his inner turmoil combines with this vivid imagery, If I Had A Heart in turn becomes gripping, shocking and truthful. And in a story about the futility of life, it is beautifully desolate.
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