Hi! Dharma!

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Hi! Dharma!
Hi Dharma.jpg
Theatrical poster
Hangul 달마 놀자
Hanja 達磨야 놀자
Revised Romanization Dalmaya nolja
McCune–Reischauer Talmaya nolcha
Directed by Park Chul-kwan
Produced by Lee Joon-ik
Written by Park Gyu-tae
Starring Park Shin-yang
Jung Jin-young
Music by Park Jin-seok
Shin Ho-seop
Cinematography Park Hee-ju
Edited by Kim Sang-bum
Kim Jae-bum
KM Culture
Distributed by Cineworld
Release date
  • November 7, 2001 (2001-11-07)
Running time
95 minutes
Language Korean
Box office US$20.4 million[1]

Hi! Dharma! (Hangul달마야 놀자; RRDalmaya Nolja; literally "Hey Dharma Let's Play") is a 2001 South Korean comedy about gangsters who hide out in a monastery.[2] With 3,746,000 admissions, it was the fifth highest-grossing Korean film of 2001.[3]

A sequel titled Hi! Dharma 2: Showdown in Seoul was released in 2004.


Five gangsters escape in a van after a bloody confrontation with the rival Chunno gang. They realize that they have a snitch in their own gang and that they can't get out of the country because the police will be looking for them. So they go to the mountains and hide in a Buddhist monastery.

But the monks there don't want the gangsters as their guests. They decide that if the gangsters can win three out of five contests, the gangsters can stay, but if they lose, they must leave immediately. The gangsters win enough contests, the last of them being suggested by the eldest monk: a challenge to fill up a broken water pot without plugging up the hole. The gangsters come up with the idea of putting the pot into the river. They are allowed to stay for a week. But the younger monks still can't tolerate the gangsters, and attempt to persuade them to leave.

Meanwhile, the boss among the gangsters realizes who betrayed them but goes ahead and contacts him anyway, disclosing his location. The former colleagues, now defected to the Chunno gang, show up near the monastery, dig a shallow mass grave and throw the gangsters they betrayed into it. But the monks come to the rescue of their unwanted guests.

Back at the monastery, both the monks and the gangsters are saddened to learn of the death of the eldest monk. After the funeral, the gangsters leave. Months later, they make varied donations to the monastery in gratitude for their hospitality.



The male actors who played the monks and the only actress in the movie (Im Hyun-kyung), who played the nun Yeun-hwa, actually shaved their heads for the movie.


  1. ^ Dunkley, Cathy; Rosenberg, Scott (5 March 2002). "Majors snap up Korean pix". Variety. Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  2. ^ Elley, Derek (30 November 2001). "Review: Hi, Dharma". Variety. Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "The Best Selling Films of 2001". Koreanfilm.org. Retrieved 14 October 2014. 

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