|Writers:||Park Chan-wook, Émile Zola (based upon the book “Thérèse Raquin”) and Jeong Seo-Gyeong|
|Starring:||Song Kang-ho, Kim Ok-bin and Kim Hae-sook|
|The Plot: Priest Sang-hyeon (Song Kang-ho) is devoted to his faith and seeks to help those that can not help themselves. Through his selflessness, he volunteers for a secret experiment that looks to find a cure for the highly contagious and horrifying EV virus. After a short time with this group of “lepers”, Sang-hyeon is infected with the disease and ultimately comes close to dying. When he does, he is given a blood transfusion that also has the blood of a vampire mixed in with it. Sang-hyeon, who is now a creature of the night, is the only survivor out of the 50 infected members. When released from the hospital he begins to volunteer at the hospital so that he can feast off of coma victims and blood bags as a non-violent form of quenching his thirst. While working at the hospital he meets up with an old friend who has now married Tae-ju (Kim Ok-bin), an old flame of his. Sang-hyeon, who has uncovered a weakness with refusing the needs of the flesh, begins an affair with Tae-ju. With Sang-hyeon’s new disease, will this romance ultimately turn tragic?|
Okay, jokes aside, I have to contend that Thirst isn’t all bad. In fact, somewhere beneath the excess I have a good feeling that there is a “great” movie lying under that surface. As with any and all of Park Chan-wook’s work, it is a brilliantly made film for sure. It is a technical marvel with a polish that isn’t seen often. That is to be expected however, but the area where the film really excels in is its ability to grab the audience. If there’s any one thing I can say about the filmmaker, even when he makes a movie that I don’t particularly like, Park Chan-wook remains one of the most “watchable” filmmakers that I have ever seen. If you take ten minutes to sit down and watch any one of his films, chances are you’re going to find it hard to pull yourself away. I found the same addictive reaction with the last Park Chan-wook film I watched, which was Sympathy For Lady Vengeance. Despite it being a flawed film, it too includes enough interesting and inspired moments that its almost impossible to turn your head away from it. Thirst grabs you by the collar from the very start, with its bizarre rhythm and pacing during the opening moments as well as Song Kang-ho’s plight with the EV virus is grotesque. The use of music as texture during the introductory scenes, and the obtuse scene progression, is what really starts to make the audience wonder and ultimately stick with the movie. Park Chan-wook is brilliant when it comes to getting your attention and with Thirst he is as successful as ever in that regard.