- Director: Choi Kook-hee
Cast: Kim Hye-soo, Yoo Ah-in, Huh Joon-ho, Jo Woo-jin, Vincent Cassel
Cert 12, 114mins, 2018
Recent years have witnessed a boom in political dramas in Korea, with hits such as A Taxi Driver (2017) and 1987: When the Day Comes(2017) bringing in audiences in their millions. The second teaser in our showcase, based on the true events of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, adds the dimension of a fast-paced financial thriller to this popular genre. Default is an affecting film that considers the human impact of the crisis alongside acerbic commentary.
The crisis occurred when large companies, aspiring to compete globally, began to take out massive loans for expansion projects. When these investments failed to achieve returns, a domino effect began that would result in nationwide debt and the impending crash of the economy...
Set in the run-up to the nation’s so-called “Day of Humiliation” where negotiations for a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were concluded, Default follows three interwoven character arcs: a senior financial analyst at the Bank of Korea (Kim Hye-soo, Coin Locker Girl) struggling to do right amongst her negligent colleagues; a factory owner (Huh Joon-ho, The Merciless) swept into crisis when his main client falls into bankruptcy; and an opportunist (Yoo Ah-in, Burning) looking to profit from the nationwide catastrophe. Accompanying this impressive ensemble is international star Vincent Cassel (Black Swan) as the unyielding managing director of IMF.
Default is the ambitious second title from promising director Choi Kook-hee, who won Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival in 2017 with Split. Not only does it conjure gripping blockbuster entertainment from this dark period still fresh in the Korean consciousness but also, in a masterful move not unlike Adam McKay’s hit The Big Short, it offers insight into the economic intricacies of a disastrous event that would come to shape the course of Korean history.