Thirst – Bakjwi – 2009


From IMDB: Beloved and devoted priest from a small town volunteers for a medical experiment which fails and turns him into a vampire. Physical and psychological changes lead to his affair with a wife of his childhood friend who is repressed and tired of her mundane life. The one-time priest falls deeper in despair and depravity. As things turns for worse, he struggles to maintain whats left of his humanity.

Finally, what i’ve been talking about nonstop for months on here, my twitter, to my friends, and pretty much anybody who would listen, i got a chance to watch and own a copy of Thirst. What can i say.. where can i even start? I’ll try, even tho when it comes to Park Chan Wook my vocabulary seems shy of appropriate and beautiful enough terms.

Bakjwi (originally set to be titled “the bat”) is the story of a catholic priest, Sang-hyun (impeccably played by korean superstar Song Kang-ho of The Host and Sympathy for Mr Vengeance) who loves life and humanity so much that he decides to volunteer for a medical experiment, only to come out of it as a vampire – and the only survivor out of 50+ patients. As he’s dragged into the world of Sin and carried away by lust, thirst for human blood, and most of all confusion, we watch his faith crumble irremediably.


Of course, the reason behind this precipitous fall into the rabbit hole is a woman, Tae-ju (brand new actress Kim Ok-bin), who not only is one his childhood’s friends wife, but also a beautiful – and troubled – individual who had been waiting her whole life to run away.


Their encounter changes their lives forever, and brings the substance of the story at much more than “just” the typical vampire movie. Thirst is about pain, desire, the fall of dogmas, and most of all internal struggle. And Park Chan Wook is right there telling us this beautiful and grotesque story in that familiar way he got us all used to: stunning camera work, outstanding atmospheres, attention for details, and the perfect soundtrack. I’m sure the ending will blow most of you guys’ minds away for it is so gorgeous it almost physically hurts.


The actors are top-notch, and the movie delivers the perfect combination of brutal violence, gore, and drama but also lots of very funny black humor (my favorite!), suspense, and steamy sex scenes (fun fact: Thirst was the first Korean movie to feature full frontal male nudity). And of course, an endless amount of blood.



I have been looking around for a copy of this every day since the teaser trailer release back in March, so you can only imagine the kind of suspense i had been building up for myself. On top of that, besides many many positive reviews (not to mention the fact that Thirst won the Jury Prize at Cannes this year pretty much blowing the jury away) – i’ve also read all of those other reviews, the jealous and “i-have-to-critique-negatively-at-any-cost” type, that said it wasn’t Park Chan Wook’s best work, that the movie is too long and needs more editing, and yadda yadda. so i had mixed feelings about my super high-end expectations.

you know what? fuck those critics. the movie is PERFECT.

so perfect i can’t wait to watch it again, and again, and again…



7 Responses to “Thirst”

  1. this was my favorite movie this year, right next to ANTICHRIST (which i highly recommend you, if you haven’t seen it yet).
    i was lucky enough to see THIRST in a cinema here and it’s really just perfect in every way!

  2. I saw Thirst when it first screened in the States at Walter Reed. I agree that it’s a great film. Absolutely gripping and I could almost smell the movie. Uhm, the smell of turtles having sex? Almost nauseating and filthy but in a good way. ;)

    I think it was intentional too since the tone and texture of the film moved me more than the narrative.

    It’ll be out on DVD in the states on Nov. 17th. Even iTunes has it for prerelease. Can’t wait to watch it again.

    BTW, Park Chan-wook is shorter than I expected. He stayed for a QA session in the packed theater. Big following here in the US.

  3. I love this film, I had the opportunity to watch on Rio de Janeiros Int. Film Fest, the film is so amazing, the dark humor is so well placed and the end is one of the best vampire film endings of all time!

  4. @shane – sadly, i didn’t like antichrist altho i heard a lot of good things about it. i’m just not a von trier fan, it comes off as too pretentious to me :/

    @dvessel – you met park chan wook! i’m officially jealous

    @eduardobrand – i love park chan wook’s dark sense of comedy. it’s just plain brilliant

  5. Cris! allora da dove comincio..
    Sn Lino (blindsamurai su sg) ci siam incrociati un paio di volte e blabla sicuramente ti ricordi lunghe webchiacchierate cinematografiche..
    ho trovato il blog x caso tornato dal Far east di quest’anno a Udine (ormai sn 3 anni che riesco ad andare, dovresti venirci!) e poi mi sn detto sempre ora le scrivo ora le scrivo poi l’altra sera ero a cena con lolla e chiedendo chi c’era al toilet..
    vabeh, cmq nn ho ancora visto Thirst, ma nn avevo dubbi.. ^__^
    potremmo litigare fino alla morte su Martyrs x cui lasciam perdere (si ti sto provocando XD )
    il film + bello di Udine quest’anno era Love Exposure di Sion Sono, recuperalo e guardalo ne vale la pena come anche Memories of Matsuko se nn l’hai visto secondo me è uno dei migliori film degli ultimi anni..
    vero che ti sto proponendo due giappi ma tanto di korean wave sei già esperta… :P
    Ciao è stato un piacere trovarti così, random.. ^^

  6. […] First and foremost, Park Chan Wook’s new masterpiece. Thirst wins pretty much everything, with his absolute brilliance, cruelty, beauty, you name it, the list is almost endless. Almost as long as my epic wait for it through most of the year. Thankfully it was more than worth it! Park Chan-wook came back with this amazing picture and reminded us what vampires are really like (as in they don’t sparkle, people!! they just don’t!!, with their classic tragic sense of romance, internal struggle, irresistible sexuality, and a taste for Revenge. Full Review: here […]

  7. stephanie yi Says:

    ummmmmm………………………….so far i heard alot of good things about it but im not sure where to watch it can any one help me with my problem

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: