Based on a true story and a legendary Korean novel, this movie follows Detective Oh (superstar Lee Jung Jae) and his investigation into the mysterious murder of a North Korean. His ...
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Based on a true story and a legendary Korean novel, this movie follows Detective Oh (superstar Lee Jung Jae) and his investigation into the mysterious murder of a North Korean. His investigation leads him to a diary, which was written by a nun who - along with her boyfriend - helped lead the escape of North Korean POWs held captive during the Korean War. Detective Oh eventually becomes emotionally involved with the case and pursues the writer of the diary and her long-lost boyfriend, hoping to crack the case and learn more about the story of the POWs.Written by
A man is found murdered in a river and a young detective Oh (Lee Jung-jae) is put on the case. The clues lead him to Geoje Island, a location for a prisoners of war camp after the Korean War. And slowly the tale of political prisoners, dirty soldiers and two star- crossed lovers starts to unveil.
Like most Korean thrillers, the film is amazingly dark both in tone and in visual style. Urban grittiness at its worst. Or best, depending on your tastes. What elevates this particular thriller above its peers is its central mystery, which is apparently at least somewhat based on a true crime case. The details and characters are both oddly fitting and grounded in reality, especially the PoW events, yet outlandish and weird enough to keep it interesting and lend it this strange aura of plausibility.
That being said, some of the events are convoluted and the whole film, had it been entirely fictional, would likely have been a bit more streamlined. Not all of the players in the story are properly introduced or focused on, though the main cast is very, very good. Likewise, the action scenes are decent, but feel a bit downplayed, compared to usual Korean norms – once again, most likely due to the want to stick to real events.
Overall a decent film and one of the most realistic Korean films I've seen. Also one of the best Korean thrillers. Definitely worth checking out if you're looking for something with an edge.
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