Throughout “I Saw the Devil,” the devil appears numerous times, but God is never mentioned. As the film opens, a lonely woman gets stuck inside her car in the snow and a man helps her out. Who is this man? The devil!
Anger, revenge, and emptiness are all important and deep human concepts in the film. You can’t get peace by taking revenge, but you will lose peace hundreds of times more by not taking revenge. Similar to Nolan’s views in “Memento”, the film views revenge in a similar way. There is only one way a person can survive, and that is by taking revenge on his wife’s killer. The absurdity of everything becomes apparent after revenge. The pains of longing and sadness remain, but there is excitement awaiting revenge. A dedicated police officer in the movie realizes that revenge is not possible through the law. In order for him to be satisfied, he wants the murderer of his wife to be tortured endlessly. This is what the law cannot do for him.
This angry man, in the film, is easily able to reach the criminal, which is the most difficult legal step. Upon surrendering the criminal to the law, he is aware that his life will also end; he has no motivation left. Throughout the film, the director confronts us with one of the most important questions: What do anger and revenge accomplish? This movie confuses the audience. During their encounter, he witnesses a policeman who does not follow the rules torturing a ruthless killer.
What is to be expected? Be happy to torture the killer? Is he happy to break the law, or is he sad that this righteous policeman will burn at the stake? Throughout the movie, the audience is confused as to what to expect. It is clear to him how angry and revengeful the policeman has become. He knows, however, that the police are correct. Even if a serial killer is arrested legally, his peace will not be restored.
Throughout this movie, the law seems ridiculous as a means of obtaining justice. This film shows that in Korea, despite its progress to such an extent, some concepts still contradict modernity. In contrast to its modern origins, the law does not satisfy the soul of modern humans. Despite the law’s disregard for revenge and anger, mankind cannot find relief from it.
One of the best cops in this movie breaks the rules. Despite forgetting the law, he turns to hand-to-hand combat, but we can see the psychotic killer isn’t bothered by it. His masochism is ten times greater than his sadism. What do we gain from fighting such people?
As the film continues, the psychopathic killer takes refuge in the house of a former friend. It is interesting to see that these types of people have strange friends with strange and illogical relationships with each other. Even sacrificing their lives for their friend, they can easily betray each other; as they have no mercy for their friend’s wife. Perhaps their relationship is based on crime rather than friendship. Crime is their loyalty, not each other.
One of the two men mentions in the same sequence that he planned to join a terrorist group when he was a young man. Clearly, the film shows that these individuals do not hold any ideological or political views. Even money doesn’t motivate them to kill. They are filthy pigs who feed only on the scum of crime. As we watch the committed and honest policeman fight one of these pigs, we are reminded of the famous Schopenhauer quote: ((What’s the use of fighting a pig? When you get dirty for nothing and the pig enjoys it!)). After watching the movie, it is evident that the police understand this statement very well. After bringing the greatest calamities on the murderer, the murderer exhibits no remorse. He shows no sign of helplessness. After abandoning his family and killing as many people as he could, what would he care if they retaliated against him?
The killer asks a high school girl in a sequence in which he intends to rape her: ((Why don’t you pay attention to me? After all, why doesn’t anyone like me and pay attention to me?)) Perhaps this question makes the audience realize even though he was ruthless and aggressive, he still had feelings that were ignored by society at large. The suppression of these feelings has led him to become mentally ill. In the modern era, ignorance of the opposite sex and rejection from the family has no effect on forming such patients.
As we watch the film, we are caught up in the struggle between anger and revenge. Despite his wife’s passion for him, the young policeman doesn’t shed a tear and holds on to his anger so he can take revenge at all times. In spite of knowing that he endangers many innocent lives and even causes the death of two innocent men by keeping this criminal alive, he cannot surrender him to the authorities. He unwittingly becomes a devil when he goes to war with the devil. Eventually, he becomes a sadistic psychotic who threatens many people to avenge his wife.
In the final sequence, after all this hardship and suffering, the police himself now realizes the futility of his work and decides to kill him. “I Saw the Devil” ends in one of its most beautiful sequences. Having never had the chance to cry for his wife, the man who has been seeking revenge earnestly and thirstily, now that he has destroyed the killer, he starts to cry out of emptiness. At dusk, on a lonely road. After the film ends, we also become nostalgic because of the sadness and helplessness depicted in the final moments; revenge is a losing game, but in our hearts we know the police were right, and even if revenge doesn’t win us, at least it keeps us alive and it’s worth seeing the devil!
I Saw the Devil ending explained:
Despite his muffled protests, his family unlocks the door, setting off another Soo-hyun-installed mechanism that causes the blade to fall and causes Kyung-chul to behead himself in front of his family. Soo-hyun, who was listening through the transmitter from a distance and knew Kyung-chul was finally gone, sobs in shock.
What was the point of I Saw the Devil?
This terrifying tale by director Kim Jee-woon examines the price of retaliation. Soo-hyun abandons all morality and justice in his quest to exact revenge on the person who injured him by inflicting Kyung-chul with his suffering.
Is I Saw the Devil a true story?
Is I Saw the Devil (2010) and The Chaser (2008) are partially inspired on the killings that serial killer Yoo Young-Chul, often known as The Raincoat Killer, perpetrated between 2003 and 2004.
How disturbing is I Saw the Devil?
Unusual for a South Korean drama. A guy on a mission for vengeance and a killer are engaged in a cat and mouse game. Despite not being the most suspenseful film, it is one of the most gruesome and unsettling. also a lot of blood and violence.
is I Saw the Devil a good movie?
I Saw The Devil has all the ingredients for a terrific revenge movie, but it goes beyond that to show the viewer the depths of sorrow. Here are some reasons I Saw the Devil is among the greatest retaliation films of all time.