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Open ‘Gate’ for comic satire of reality

  • Published : Feb 19, 2018 - 16:24
  • Updated : Feb 19, 2018 - 16:24

Caper film “Gate” hopes to be “better than the news,” keeping the elements of comedy while reflecting reality by satirizing Choi Soon-sil.

The main plot of the film centers on a group planning to rob a secret safe. The former thieves, a prosecutor, a hacker and two friends team up, each for their own reasons.

Veteran actors Jung Ryeo-won, Im Chang-jung, Jung Sang-hoon, Lee Kyung-young, Lee Moon-sik and rookie Kim Do-hoon form the main cast of the comedy caper.

The film derives from director Shin Jae-ho’s everyday imagination. Shin used to wonder what it would be like to rob a bank.

(JNC Media Group)
At a press conference held in Seoul on Monday, he elaborated, saying, “What would it be like to rob the rich but bad people? We can’t do it in reality, so how about if we do it in a movie?”

The story is highlighted by the use of black comedy, as the details are reflective of the Choi Soon-sil scandal that rocked the nation in 2016. Even the film’s title is a wink at the scandal, which was referred to as “Choi Soon-sil gate” at the time.

Choi, a friend and adviser to former president Park Geun-hye, meddled in state affairs and abused her power, accumulating wealth in an unjust manner. The nation was startled by the shocking corruption, as millions of people gathered in the streets and demanded the removal of President Park.

In “Gate,” a middle-aged woman sports makeup, outfits and speech all strikingly similar to those of Choi.

“Films should reflect reality,” director Shin said. He had been writing a classic caper script, but seeing the scandal that caused an uproar, the details of the plot morphed.

“(At the time of the incident) news stories were better than films. All scripts seemed boring (in comparison),” he said. “Wanting to make a film that is more interesting than the news, I aimed for satire.”

Jung Ryeo-won, who stars as the leading actress, revealed that when she received the script, she thought, “This is it.”

(JNC Media Group)
(JNC Media Group)
“(At the end of 2016) I made a wish that I would act in one drama series and one film in the upcoming year. But the film should not be too serious. A black comedy would be better and should have many veteran actors in it, so that I could learn from them,” Jung said. “And, this was it.”

The director said that he was nervous to meet Jung. He knew that Jung was picky when it comes to choosing scripts. He practiced what he would say before meeting her for the first time.

“But Jung was very welcoming and friendly. She participated in deciding how we should shoot certain scenes and how the lines should be changed,” Shin said, thanking the actress. “We made the film together.”

The crime-comedy film hits theaters Feb. 28.

By Im Eun-byel (silverstar@heraldcorp.com)