From start to finish, “The Drug King” is an entertaining movie. The acting is strong and there is a compelling story in every scene. It’s often lost in the usual clichés as well as the tired characters and inconsistencies in plot that mean that the film can get sometimes repetitive. The main conflict is simple to solve but it could be that the characters are more complex than what the viewer thinks. The movie is still an enjoyable action story with a cast of characters that are very likable.
Russell Brand plays the role of David Kleinfeld, the main character. He rises from a shady drug dealer to become a kingpin of the world of drugs. The reason he is unique is due to a variety of factors, including his street smarts and determination, his skills at manipulating and, of course the wealth that makes it possible him to take on the terrifying role of a drug kingpin. The movie begins in 1968, when Kleinfeld is arrested on suspicion of murder. Kleinfeld claims to be a common man who does “what people do”. He is wrongly sentenced to 18 years, and then turns himself in to the police to confess to the crime.
Brand plays David Kleinfeld in the movie as the most morally perfect person you could ask to lead in a role like this, and Brand certainly is. We learn that the reason is that his family was starving during the Korean War, forcing him to take on a job in order to provide them with food. When he returns to his home the family is no longer alive and he realizes that he has to rise above the circumstances to achieve anything meaningful in his life. Thus, he takes on the task of managing his own drug business and tries to figure out how best to get it to succeed, and making use of his wealth and connections to do the same.
While the film may appear to portray David Kleinfeld as a good person, we soon discover that the only way for him to succeed is if he subliminally convinces South Korean police and the American agents who guard him that the drug lord is David Kleinfeld. After he has made his point then he tries to convince authorities that Kleinfeld is innocent by using all methods at his disposal. One of his methods for convincing includes planting an untrue trail of evidence that will lead the authorities the wrong way.
A major theme in the movie is the deterioration of trust between the police officers and the drug kingpin. It is interesting to note that this theme is repeated throughout south Korea’s recent history. The former regime was often accused of corruption and inefficiency. In the beginning, Kim Il Sung’s idealism seems to rule the country, but corruption quickly overtook it. This is the lesson to be learned: Although the government may appear to be doing well initially but it is often the responsibility of the people (led mostly by the popular song yang ho) to clean the house.
Although the film is set in Seoul Many viewers have been critical of it due to its emphasis on characters from the North. The characters even created their own TV commercial with the same theme, playing over Kang-ho, the song in North Korea for “cocaine.” Some have suggested that this was just a movie commercial, but others have pointed out that the drug kingpin was wearing the same outfit as the uniforms worn by elite soldiers in North Korea. moviefree8k While rumors have circulated that Kim Jong-il was obsessed by the idea, no one knows for sure.
The film received a warm reception, regardless of what critics think. It depicted the life and struggles of an ordinary North Korean citizen living under corrupt government. It is a reminder of the human situation for those who don’t live on the peninsula that scenes are shown in which convicts are transported across the border by buses. The film does not discuss the topic of drugs in detail however the meaning is clear. Of course, the question of how much influence the Chinese political system has over its citizens cannot be answered without reference to the current situation.
There is no doubt that the movie “Cocaine” will continue to attract a lot of attention from the American public. It is to be seen if it illustrates the growing problems in the relationship between the West and America with drugs. Whether or not the Chinese government will view the film as an attempt to hide the Chinese role in the drug trade remains to be determined. With the rise of the Korean yakuza’s boss and the rise of the Korean yakuza boss, perhaps the public will be more ready to make the correlation.