Tazza – The High Rollers (2006)

Director: Choi Dong Hoon
Casts: Cho Seung Woo, Baek Yun Shik, Kim Hye Soo, Yoo Hae Jin, Kim Yun Seok, Kim Min Kyung, Kim Eung Soo, and Joo Jin Mo
Genre: Drama
Running Time: 139 minutes
Certi: 18

Goni (Cho Seung Woo) lost his and his sister’s life savings in gambling. He decides to get the money back by continue to gamble. Along the way, he meets professional gamblers. Goni undergoes a training to become the greatest gambler of all by his master, Mr. Pyeong. Later, he becomes a professional gambler and goes to every gambling joint in Korea. He has some feelings with Madam Jung. He has to face against Mr. Pyeong’s old rival because he killed his master. This is about the story of the gambler who sometimes greedy with gambling and money but soon realize his close comrades mean a lot to him. In the world of Tazza, the game is about friendship and battling against the enemies in the game of cards.

Director Choi has done it again. It’s way better than ‘The Thieves’. It’s a great classic gambling film with a mixed of comedy, romance, mystery, and action. First off, I love the gambling scenes. I’m impressed with the film editing throughout these scenes from the fading in and fading out to combination of the characters who are gambling. Also, I enjoyed watching them how they played the cards with their slick moves.

Next, I love the characters of this film. Cho Seung Woo is able to act from being a loser to a professional gambler while he can be sarcastic and arrogant sometimes. Yet, Goni has a heart to care for his friends and his master. I like how he shows up his cool and slick gambling skills. Mr. Pyeong is the wise old man who has way with his words including the rules of becoming a great gambler. Kim Yun Seok has, yet again, makes me interested about him and I had added him to be my ‘favourite actor’ in my list. He suits to act as the cool guy (either a hero or the villain) because of his looks and personality. He portrayed the villain so well that I got the goosebumps. Kim Hye Soo is another actress whom I have officially like her. She does well in acting as the cool, mysterious, and classy lady that men will fall for her. She did well in acting double characters (Madam Jung and Yae Lim). Because of that, I applaud for her acting abilities. Each character with different personality is easily spotted on.

The only problem is with the chapter titles which are shown throughout the film. I couldn’t understand which title fits. Before the scene or after the scenes? This film is adapted from a comic book with chapters but I was confused with the placement on the chapter titles. Besides that, before I left the cinema screening, I hear the ending song of the film and I was annoyed with it. An old man crying his heart out while he looks like he has a sore throat is torturing my ears.

It’s a great classic film with different genres. There is a balance with different genres which I truly enjoyed and I can either laugh or be scared. The characters are impressive. I feel like the characters and storyline coming out from the comic book alive. Except the placement on the chapter title is out of place. It’s worth watching this film about the gambling world in Korea during the 80s and 90s.

At the ending, it leads me to this question: What happened to Goni?. Director Choi does leave us to think that there will be a sequel. Will he do that for his next project? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Rating: 8/10

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