Synopsis by Rebecca Flint Marx
The sophomore effort of writer-director Kim Jee-woon, who had success on the festival circuit with his 1998 black comedy The Quiet Family, Banchik Wang opens by introducing us to harried office grunt Im Dae-ho (Song Kang-ho). Nagged by his father, hassled by his boss, and secretly in love with a female colleague, Dae-ho finds solace in wrestling and the so-called "foul kings," or take-no-prisoners championship wrestlers who will do anything to win a match. He decides to try his own hand at the sport and is eventually -- if reluctantly -- taken on as the pupil of a weathered coach (Jang Hang-seon). Training by the coach's daughter (Jang Jin-yeong) allows Dae-ho to develop self-confidence, and after becoming the accidental victor of his first fight, he prepares for a tag match against reigning champion Yubiho (Kim Su-ro), who wants an easy win to further his career in Japan.
assumed-identity, self-confidence, underdog, wrestling-Greco-Roman