Cert: 15 Runtime: 130 mins Director: Joon-ho Bong Cast: Kang-ho Song, Sang-kyung Kim, Roe-ha Kim, Jae-ho Song, Byun Hee-bong and Go Seo-hee
Look into my eyes
One of my favourite type of film is a detective/murder/thriller/serial killer films. One film holds high in my eyes is David Fincher’s Zodiac. It’s one of the greatest films of all time. Joon-ho Bong has always been on my radar of directors to watch but it was only recently that I watched Snowpiercer. Then I was recommended Memories of Murder, how could I refuse? What is Memories of Murder about then? In 1986, Park (Song Kang-ho) and Cho (Kim Roi-ha) are two simple-minded detectives assigned to a double murder investigation in a South Korean province. But when the murderer strikes several more times with the same pattern, the detectives realize that they are chasing the country’s first documented serial killer. Relying on only their basic skills and tools, Park and Jo attempt to piece together the clues and solve the case in this thriller based on true events.
This is one of the most interesting thrillers I have seen since Zodiac. The acting is superb and it feels very genuine, the story of the murderer is gripping, the conditions at the time when the movie takes place are different, unusual and mostly based on intuition and courageous ideas. This is a psycho thriller that takes a look a the souls and feelings of its different characters and doesn’t need any technical forensic analysis as it is a quite mature film. This charm is underlined by some very brutal situations and a lot of dark humour. You also learn a lot about Korea and about Asian culture in this unique movie as this is mostly based on true events. The ending of the movie might surely not please to some people but it is utterly unique and leaves you asking questions.
The movie is highly entertaining as new possibilities and surprises arise throughout the whole story and create a complex and mysterious story. Maybe the characters are doing some mistakes in the movie but this imperfect behaviour is somewhat the charm of those characters and the movie. Memories of Murder is not always as suspenseful as I expected. This movie has a slow development and prefers to show us the conditions and the personalities of the movie rather than the fear of the victims and the pitiless brutality of the murders. I think that a little mixture of both could have helped to not only create a very good movie but a true gripping masterpiece. Nevertheless, this is a minor issue and the movie is truly entertaining, original and wants to be authentic.