Memories Of Murder


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Memories Of Murder
"The film is well made and the humour delicately balanced between corruption and farce."

This would be hilarious, if it wasn't so unsettling. The basic premise is that cops nominate the perpetrator of a crime and then beat a confession out of them.

Nothing new in that, I hear you cry, and since this is a South Korean film, it would be easy to dismiss it as a local custom, if it wasn't for Gutanamo Bay and other Western abuses of human rights.

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A dead girl is found in a field drain and the policeman in charge of investigating the crime, which may be the work of a serial killer, is a palpable fool, with a partner whose only means of communication appears to be a flying kick to the chest. Later, these two are joined by a more experienced detective, who hardly speaks.

At first, they pick on a village idiot, with the mental age of a child, and when that doesn't work, pick on someone else and then someone else. The cops haven't a clue, of course, and that's the joke, but in order to hide their inadequacy, they shout a lot and behave like bullies, which is not so funny.

The film is well made and the humour delicately balanced between corruption and farce. If you can imagine Shiri as a comedy, you are half way there, except it is never entirely without its serious side.

Ultimately, director Bong Joon Ho deserves praise for treading a fine line and never losing the plot.

Reviewed on: 13 Aug 2004
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Foolish cops investigate South Korean serial killer.
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Director: Bong Joon Ho

Writer: Bong Joon Ho, Kim kwang-rim

Starring: Song kang-ho, Kim sang-kyung, Kim roe-ha, Song jae-ho, Byeon hie-bong, Ko seo-hie

Year: 2003

Runtime: 129 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: South Korea


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