Netflix never has a shortage when it comes to awesome Korean content to watch, and one movie that you should definitely watch out for is Kill Boksoon.
Showing on March 31, 2023; the film follows the story of a lethal killer, who is also a mother to a teenage daughter. As her daughter grows up, she begins to feel a growing distance. On top of that, she’s also facing a contract renewal with her employer. The story basically follows a week in her life. “I wanted to portray a story about a mother and daughter where both of their lives are filled with secrets – secrets the mom wants to keep from her daughter and vice versa,” Director Byun Sung-hyun explains. “I wanted to follow the story of communication or lack thereof.”
This is a story that women all over the world will most likely be able to relate to (killings aside, of course). If you’ve ever been a rebellious teenager or if you’re a mom of a teenage girl, you are sure to find relatable things in this movie while staying entertained by the non-stop action the movie promises to provide. What’s more, at the press con we attended in Korea recently, Director Byun Sung-hyun shared some tidbits about the movie that will make you appreciate it even more.
7 Fun Facts About Kill Boksoon
There are several meanings within the movie title Kill Boksoon.
Director Byun Sung-hyun points out that the name “Boksoon” is a very outdated name in modern-day Korea. In fact, it’s a more common name for dogs in the countryside. While the last name “Gil” is an actual last name in Korea, he points out that it also sounds a lot like “kill”, so there was a pun intended there. “It was also a parody of one of my favorite films, Tarantino’s Kill Bill,” Director Byun Sung-hyun adds. “It’s also a nickname that Boksoon goes by among her peers. So there’s a lot in there.” Additionally, the reason we see a knife going through the words Kill and Boksoon on the poster is to portray the duality of Boksoon’s life as both a killer and a mother.
Kill Boksoon is not about revenge.
When we watch movies about hired killers; a lot of the time, they are out for revenge (especially if a child is involved). Director Byun Sung-hyun is aware of this. So, despite the commonly-used setup of hired killers, he states that he really didn’t want Kill Boksoon to be about revenge. “We wanted to put a twist to the cliche portrayal of contract killers,” he explains.
There is drama within the action.
While Kill Boksoon no doubt has a ton of action involved in it, Director Byun Sung-hyun points out that he truly wanted to highlight drama within it, as well. “I personally think that the cast we worked with are the best performers one could find in the industry,” he explains. “I wanted to make sure we took advantage of that.” To do this, he made sure that each action sequence had a particular concept and showed the character of those involved in the sequence as well as the drama.
There is meaning within the colors.
Even the colors used in Kill Boksoon have a meaning and were given a lot of focus. “Boksoon has her main theme color, and there are particular color palettes we used to portray her perspective of what kind of person she wants to raise her daughter to be,” Director Byun Sung-hyun shares. “We made sure there was a definite contrast in between those two.”
Even the face angles have a meaning.
One of the things that truly blew us away while listening to Director Byun Sung-hyun talk about the film was that he also paid close attention to Boksoon’s face angles. “When we wanted to portray Boksoon’s character as the mother, you’ll see the right side of her face, and you’ll see mostly the left side of her face when she’s being shown as the killer,” he points out. “To do that, we had to be very calculative of the camerawork and blocking.” How amazing is that?
Jeon Do-yeon did most of her own stunts.
Director Byun Sung-hyun also revealed that Jeon Do-yeon did most of her own stunts. Since this was her first lead role in an action, she had to go through a lot of training and preparation for her physique. However, due to the method of shooting, she also had to do most of the action sequences herself without a stunt double. “We didn’t shoot it in a way where we could shoot a number of shortcuts and connect the different scenes together later,” Director Byun Sung-hyun explains. “We used a lot of long takes; so for any scene where even just a little bit of the face was revealed during an action sequence; she had to do them herself. For the actor, having to do those scenes themselves was probably the main challenge. As for us, the creators, the challenge was how to portray the characters true to their essence.”
The director was given a lot of creative freedom.
One of the best parts of Kill Boksoon is that we get to see exactly what the director envisioned. According to Director Byun Sung-hyun, Netflix granted him creative freedom and didn’t touch much of what he wanted to do as a director. “I think that, for a director, this is the best support you could get from a partner,” he raves. “They let me do what I want to do and be free with my creative vision. And also the fact that I’m sitting here speaking to you all – this is the first time I’m meeting with members of the press from different countries, unless it’s an international film festival, this is the first time I’m doing something like this. The fact that I get to speak to you today, and the fact that the film will be shown in over 190 countries around the world, and that many people are going to watch it – I’d have to say that is the best thing you get from working with Netflix.”
Don’t forget to mark your calendars for Kill Boksoon on March 31, 2023 – only on Netflix.
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