Korean arthouse don Kim Ki-duk (
Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter… And Spring
) picked up last year’s Golden Lion in Venice for this bleak drama, but sadly
just isn’t up to scratch.
The premise – a man’s (Lee Jung-jin) life is invaded by a woman (Cho Min-soo) claiming to be the mother who abandoned him as an infant – feels rich with possibilities, but most of them go unrealised.
Cracks emerge as the film takes a baroque direction, taking a mishandled turn into Jacobean revenge tragedy.
But as the intensity ramps up, Pieta skews more towards silliness than shock.