Beasts Clawing at Straws is a 2020 thriller by South Korean director Kim Yong-hoon. It is the director's first feature film. The film is based on a novel by the Japanese author Keisuke Sone from 2011. Beasts Clawing at Straws celebrated its world premiere on January 25, 2020 in the competition at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, where it was awarded the special prize of the jury. The film opened regularly in South Korean cinemas on February 19, 2020.
Someone places a bag in a locker in a hotel sauna. Joong-man works there and checks that all lockers are empty for the next day's customers. He finds the heavy bag and takes a look inside. It's full of money. Joong-man takes them to the storage room in case the owner comes back. However, he hides them a little and doesn't add them to the list of things left behind.
The plot of the film is not chronological and is presented in this article in chronological order. Mi-ran lost a fortune and now works as a hostess. Her husband suggests her and always suggests the debts that she must pay off. During her work, she met the young Jin-tae who came from China to find work. He falls in love with her and has her number given. The next time they meet, he notices the bruises. He also saw his father beat his mother. He wants to kill her husband for her so they can disappear together. Mi-ran agrees. Jin-tae ambushes her husband outside a bar he visits. But it's raining and he only knows the man from a photo. So he runs over someone else. Mi-ran is shocked when her husband suddenly walks through the door, contrary to expectations. Jin-tae then feels guilty and believes he can hear the dead man's voice. Mi-ran suggests going to the place where the body is buried, hoping that the voice will then disappear. But it doesn't help and he wants to face the police. Then Mi-ran runs over him. Shortly afterwards, she receives a call from her manager, Choi Yeon-hee, asking if she might be coming to work. Mi-ran tells her everything.
Yeon-hee supports them. Jin-tae would not be missed as he is a suspected illegal immigrant. She also gives her tips on how to kill her husband and how to get a credible alibi. Mi-ran follows her advice, kills her husband and receives 500 million won (about 400,000 euros) in death benefit. She goes to Yeon-hee and thanks her. But Mi-ran stuns them and kills them. Together with the wallet, she makes herself her friend Tae-young.
Tae-young is a customs officer and has borrowed money from seedy loan sharks with Yeon-hee. But Yeon-hee has disappeared with the money and Tae-young is running out of time to pay Park Du-man, to whom he owes 100 million won (about 80,000 euros). But he has a plan how he can get money. As a customs officer, a school friend of days gone by asked him if he could help him across the border. He wants to take money from him. But the friend does not appear. Instead, a police officer asks Tae-young about this friend, as he is wanted. But Tae-young denies the acquaintance. However, the policeman is pushy and drinks with him until the department contacts him. Only a little later, Yeon-hee suddenly emerges again. She asks him whether the forged passport looks real from her. She wanted to leave the country with him. When they are in bed together, the doorbell rings and the inspector is back. It imposes itself and ultimately arrives in the apartment. He wants to drink with the two of them. A death comes up, after which a woman's corpse was found in the lake. Tae-young's acquaintance was also arrested in Gunsan.
When the drinks run out, Tae-young goes to buy new ones. When he comes back, Yeon-hee killed the policeman. This could have found out that she is the murderer of the soul oak. She wants help from Tae-young, but Tae-young is in shock. On one occasion, he knocks Yeon-hee out and wants to leave. He also finds the wallet and takes it with him. When Yeon-hee comes to, Park Du-man and his men are there. Park didn't expect to see Yeon-hee again and wants to kill her. But she says she can pay him, but quickly notices that the bag is missing. She calls Tae-young, who speaks directly about the money. Park then goes on to chase Yeon-hee, threatening to kill them if they don't get the money.
Jeon Do-yeon as Yeon-hee
Jung Woo-sung as Tae-young
Youn Yuh-jung as Soon-ja
Bae Seong-woo as Joong-man
Shin Hyun-bin as Mi-ran
Jung Man-sik as Park Doo-man
Jin Kyung as Young-sun
Jung Ga-ram as Jin-tae