Split / 스플릿 (2016)
Directed by: Choi Kook-hee
Written by: Choi Kook-hee
Cast: Yoo Ji-tae, David Lee, Lee Jung-hyun
Review: Chul-Jong (Yoo Ji-tae) A former bowling champion after injuring his leg is reduced to using his skills to hustle money to survive and also help his broker Hee-Jin (Lee Jung-Hyun) get back her bowling alley. He discovers an autistic young man Young-Hoon (David Lee) who is able to bowl strikes extremely consistently by employing an unorthodox technique. They become a team and eventually become involved in a high stakes better game of underground bowling.
This movie is more about the characters and less about the story. The story is really straight-forward and pretty much involves a series of underground bowling matches. On its own it would be extremely dull but in between the bowling we get to see the central relationship between Chul-Jong and Young-Hoon develop as we discover their pasts and eventually learn a link between the two. Hee-Jin unfortunately doesn’t really have much of a role in the dramatic department but does provide some good comedy.
On paper, this sounds like a pretty generic sports drama where the main character ends up achieving some sort of redemption. What makes it work is the good acting. The final part of the movie has a violent encounter that feels shoehorned in for the sake of more drama. It doesn’t hurt the story but seemed unnecessary. Not a must-watch movie but it is entertaining.
Seen in the theater at Fantasia film festival.