An episode of the tvN variety show Knowledgeable Criminal Miscellaneous Dictionary aired on April 4 and discussed the topic of psychopaths.
In this episode, criminal psychologist professor Park Ji Sun picked the character that best depicted the characteristics of a psychopath in Korean cinema. However, she surprised many viewers as the character she picked may not have been what most people thought.
She chose Ah Gwi (played by Kim Yoon Seok) from the movie Tazza: The High Rollers from 2006. She explained that she was intrigued by a scene where Ah Gwi is throwing chrysanthemum flowers. She shared that when she saw the scene, she thought he showed a cold and indifferent response. This matches with one of the criteria for diagnosing a psychopath: callousness.
Ah Gwi showed the essence of callousness and coldness even through his walk. A psychopath does not exaggerate his anger or cruelty but instead shows a characteristic of being emotionally restrained and indifferent towards others.
—Park Ji Sun
This analysis corresponds with our introduction to Ah Gwi’s character. During his best friend’s funeral, he is talking strangely and showing no sympathy. When he throws the chrysanthemums, he says, “What revenge? Is Kwak Cheol Yong your father or just something to throw a fit by taking revenge? You can’t approach this with pure human feelings such as revenge. You need to earn your pay by butchering an ox, cracking open its skull, and opening it up with a butcher knife.”
Many fans did not think of Ah Gwi as a psychopath when they first watched the movie. However, after hearing Park Ji Sun’s points, they quickly realized that there is a wider range to what being a psychopath entails.
Professor Park also added Heath Ledger‘s Joker from The Dark Knight as the epitome of a psychopath. She explained that she was terrified by seeing Joker’s makeup and wide, split smile. She shared, “It’s as if he created the standard for the psychopath diagnosis.”