Barking Dogs Never Bite
When unemployed academic Yun-ju (Lee Sung-jae) becomes agitated by the sound of barking dogs in his apartment complex, none of his neighbours are prepared for the atrocities that are to follow. In the coming days, reports begin to emerge that these dogs have been stolen and very tragically killed, prompting bookkeeper Hyun-nam (Bae Doona) to conduct an investigation that she hopes will help her get to the heart of the matter.
South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-Ho makes his directorial debut with Barking Dogs Never Bite, a dark independent comedy that is not designed for those with a weak stomach. With scenes of a gruesome nature involving dog abuse, the movie does not bode well for animal lovers also. This being said, Joon-Ho’s signature mark of incorporating social commentary into his work can be seen early on in his career. In this one, he endeavours to show the dysfunctionality of a family unit. Although this is at the expense of his characters appearing cold and heartless at times, leaving viewers with little to no room to be able to empathise with them.
The director clearly has a unique style – one that has taken him years to hone before bagging both himself and his 2019 film Parasite an Oscar. What this debut shows is that his movies are a bit of a hit-and-miss. Though the documentary side of his narrative makes its mark, the fictitious aspect can sometimes lag, with dubious plot twists that do not necessarily add meaning to the story, just increase its run time.
Barking Dogs Never Bite is released nationwide on 18th September 2020.
Watch the trailer for Barking Dogs Never Bite here: