And the efforts to affect coolness on to the characters can be over-extended at times, such as the time spent lingering on the first lighting of cigarettes between Min (Jung Woo-sung, A Moment To Remember, Cold Eyes) and Tae-soo (Yu Oh-Seong, Friend, Champion) that makes this post-fight masculine moment of shared lung cancer almost seem post-coitus.
This can be seen perhaps most clearly in the inner conflicts and problems faced by Makdong's family.
A scene towards the end of the film, in which a family picnic disintegrates into chaos, shows how unstability has kept the family from growing close, or providing each other with any emotional support.
At the new school, Min meets the class glue-sniffer Whan and they become fast pals.
Whan can't fight like Min, but he fights for Min's loyalty.
It was produced by what is now Korea's biggest film studio in Cinema Service, and executive produced by Kang Woo-suk (Two Cops).
The film's producer, Yeo Kyun-dong, is both an actor (Love Bakery) and a director (La Belle) in his own right.Whan (the debut film for Im Chang-jung, Sex Is Zero 1 & 2, Twilight Gangsters) even does the let-one-loop-run-free bad idea.Then there is the dialogue as it comes across in English translation which might keep non-Korean-speakers from connecting to some of the characters on any deep level.It is through Whan's selling of Min at auction to be a 'slave date' that Min meets the high-class Romi.Taking this slave date seriously, Romi gives Min a beeper to be at her beck and call to which Min gladly obliges. After Min tries different ways to go legit with Whan through a restaurant venture and with Romi through a shared apartment, eventually Min finds himself having to reconsider Tae-soo's multiple offers to join him in working for a bigger gang boss.Lee has become a stronger and more refined filmmaker over time, and his later features Peppermint Candy (2000) and Oasis (2002) carry more of his personal style than Green Fish.