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'High Rollers' Gives High Thrill

2006/09/28 | Permalink | Source

By Kim Tae-jong
Staff Reporter

If you could sweep into the hidden corners of your conscience the numerous evil aspects and warnings about gambling, then it could surely appear to be a highly tempting and entertaining game. You place your bet and you can test your luck.

The game is never that simple, however, as ruthless desires, severe betrayals and na´ve hopes are intermixed. The outcome often tends to be a life-threatening crisis, rather than a life changing chance that people dream of.

The new domestic film "Tazza: The High Rollers" ("Tazza: The High Rollers") successfully captures this fatal attraction and brings it more alive through interesting characters.

Directed by Choi Dong-hoon, the film is an adaptation of a hit comic series by Huh Young-man. And veteran actors such as Cho Seung-woo, Kim Hye-soo, Baek Yoon-sik and Yoo Hae-jin bring life back to their counterparts from the original into the movie.

The film revolves around Ko-ni (by Jo), an ordinary factory worker at a furniture company, who loses everything overnight at a gambling table.

He loses all his money and his sister's alimony from her divorce. He later finds out that he was swindled and he has no choice but to run away from his family.

He struggles to get his life back by winning a high stake game and dreams of returning to his family, but things don't go well. But a "hidden card" is dealt to him in the form of legendary professional gambler Pyong Kyong-jang (by Baek).

He begs Pyong to teach him to become a "tazza", Korean slang for a top professional gambler, like Pyong. He is taught various tricks and skills and starts to win lots of money in gambling houses nationwide.

But he can't quit gambling and get back to his ordinary life as he promised Pyong when he first started learning from him, and he dreams of having bigger and more risky bets, and he joins the gang led by Miss Jang (by Kim), who organizes big gambling games with swindlers.

For bigger causes, he later risks his life, love and everything that he has and tests his luck and talents without knowing what awaits him.

Compared to the director's successful debut thriller "The Big Swindle", the new film takes a different approach.

His first film was a kind of puzzle, to which the director invited the audience with scattered clues that led them slowly toward a climactic finish, but the new movie is more of a collection of stories about each character but less of an in-depth exploration of human nature.

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