What is truly impressive, and somewhat overlooked in the hype over the film's more trangressive moments, is the way that the story is told entirely with dialogue. It's not exactly a silent film -- there's plenty of moaning and screaming -- but not a word of dialogue is exchanged, and it's impressive how fully-formed Kim's storytelling proves to be: all kinds of nuances and themes come across without having to be explained.
It's still a difficult film to love, or even like, for some of the reasons above. But it's superior in every way to the dull "Pieta," and hopefully Kim's got his desire to shock out of the system with this one -- if so, he might end up cooking up something genuinely worthy of the Golden Lion down the line. [B-]