72. Memories of Murder (2003)

Not quite CSI

Directed by: Joon-ho Bong
Written by: Joon-ho Bong, Kwang-rim Kim
Starring: Kang-ho Song, Sang-kyung Kim and Roe-ha Kim

In the province of Gyunggi, South Korea, two local detectives go about solving the murders of two young women by torturing their suspects and feeding them with scripted confessions to the crimes. It may sound super shady (which it is), but their methods and techniques in fighting crime are representative of the small-town insignificance that surrounds them every day in the late 80’s. But when a detective from Seoul comes to assist them in their investigation, the detectives find themselves becoming increasingly drawn to the murder mystery and dancing with an elusive killer in a frustratingly difficult and dangerous chase.

Now take a good look at the photo or we'll punch your head in.

With director Bong’s knack for dramatic thrills and lingering visual impressions, Memories of Murder is a compelling South Korean thriller that leaps in directions of originality, not often seen in your conventional murder film. The complex characters are likeable and engaging regardless of their questionable ethics, and it is through their struggles and desire to find the killer that opens up ideas and questions about justice and revenge.

Memories of Murder deals out equal measures of black humour, plot twists and compelling action. Against the backdrop of a rural Korean town, Memories of Murder finds excitement and a wealth of thought-provoking themes within the work of incompetent, immoral and somewhat misguided detectives.


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