Eye For Film >> Movies >> Memories Of Murder (2003) Film Review
Memories Of Murder
Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray
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.
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