Saturday, January 29, 2011

Memories of Murder (2003)

This is the second feature from Joon-ho Bong who did three of my favorite films of all time. This is one of them. (The other two are Mother, which I reviewed back in March of last year and The Host, possibly the best giant monster on the loose film you'll ever see.) As with all of the directors films what you expect is turned on its head, and used against you to startling effect. Here what you expect to be a straight forward police procedural is turned on its head.

After two women are found dead in a rural community, a detective arrives from the big city to help out. Things quickly mushroom with the discovery of more bodies, more suspects and no end in sight.

Whether you like police films or not you should see this movie about the real hunt for Korea's first known serial killer simply because its a great movie. This is a movie that alters your expectations and changes your view of things. Its impossible to guess whats going to happen simply because the twists and turns are so unexpected. At times this is a funny funny movie, especially if you like shows like Law and Order or CSI since what we take for granted in those shows is stood on its head (these are people who know little of forensics). At other times this is a very taut thriller and you become as desperate as the police in needing to put an end to the madness.

On top of all of this is a picture of Korea in 1986, a place with political unrest and civil defense drills that seems like something out of the 1950's America.

This is brilliant brilliant film-making.

If you've never seen a a Korean film start here. Its the film that I use as a gateway to Korean films. Its a world class film that I tell people to see because not only is it a great film it show people how good Korean films can be.

It's one of those films you'll go back to time and again because its just a great film.

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