Detective Namsoon goes undercover with her partner Detective Ahn to investigate the production of counterfeit money. But when all the prime suspects are killed, the case becomes a much deeper mystery. She discovers one loyal henchman, Sad Eyes, a beautiful swordsman with a pale, blank face. Namsoon and Sad Eyes confront each other in a series of duels tirelessly chasing, being pursued and dodging each other. Inevitably, they fall headlong in love and their forbidden enchantment blossoms. Each struggles to reconcile the desperate conflict between love and obligation to duty, as they square off to meet their fate in one last duel. [With over 2 hours of extras]
DUELIST is set in Korea during the late Chosun Dynasty. The economy is in a state of chaos as a large amount of counterfeit money has flooded the country. Detective Namsoon is assigned to find the source of the fake money. She goes undercover and finds her investigation complicated by the number of dead bodies stacking up. She finds herself encountering a handsome swordsman called Sad Eyes on numerous occasions during her investigation and engages in a number of duels with him. However, the pair, who operate on separate sides of the law, find themselves falling in love. Director Myung-Se Lee (NOWHERE TO HIDE) has created a visually sumptuous film that is markedly different from most martial arts films. The film takes inspiration from artists such as Matisse and the fight choreography has hints of ballroom dancing and ballet, making for a striking and original movie.