Money 돈 (Don) (2019) - South Korea
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
Billed as the “Wolf of Wall Street” in Korea, “Money” directed by Park Noo-ri, shows precisely the same message of greed, wealth and ultimately fraud and unmistakable crimes. Stock brokering and market manipulation comes hand in hand in this coming of age crime thriller starring rising star Ryu Jun-yeol (“Reply 1988”) as the young graduate rising to fame, wealth and high society through engaging in illegal activities, scams, offshore funds, whilst working behind the scene for a mysterious operation known as the “ticket”. The film mentioned nothing we do not know about the markets, but it possess a commercial quality that makes it enormously entertaining and a protagonist you would like to root for.
Ryu Jun-yeol is fast becoming a box office draw in Korea and continues the trend in a coming of age role in the veins of being the “Wolf of Wall Street”. In an high octane performance that splashes out to a grand finale of over the top action display, the film is best when it is trading and the tension built steady as we root for the Ryu to escape from the eyes of compliance and investigators. Jo Woo-jin simply steals the scene as lead investigator who simply doesn’t give up, provide the film with most of its comic moments in his relentless pursue. Yoo Ji-tae gives a commanding presence in the role as the “Ticket”. Won Jin-ah plays the upgraded girlfriend and fellow trader colleague whose intention is never clear cut. Meanwhile, Korean American Daniel Henney makes an all important cameo appearance as offshore asset manager.
All in all, “Money” doesn’t exactly excites or point out anything either than the usual fraud premieres, rise to the top and riches that changes people and their characters. The film did well at the local box office and director Park Noo-ri smartly incorporated mostly commercial elements into the world of stock broking. In almost goes without saying that Geeko would be proud of the “Ticket” as he goes for money without a cause and for that, “greed for the lack of a better word is good”.
I rated it 6.5/10