This unique time and place serves as a wonderful respite from the typical American big-city setting of so many other films of this ilk. Park and Seo chase Baek and question him, but he gets frightened and runs into the path of an oncoming train, where he is hit and killed. However he and Park's methods apparently clash, and they get into a fight during a party. It is based on the true story of , which took place between 1986 and 1991 in ,. While visiting the crime scene years later in 2003, Park Doo-man, now a businessman, learns from a little girl that the scene had recently been visited by another, unknown man, with a 'nondescript' face.
In October 1986, a young woman is found and murdered in a ditch near a field. At the latest crime scene, Park, Cho and Seo all arrive to investigate in different ways, but then a local man arrives, pulls out undergarments, and masturbates in a woman's red lingerie. Song, one of Korea's greatest actors, is terrific as the hapless moronic but well-intentioned cop Park who treats the murder cases perhaps a bit too affably at the outset, and makes for a great duo with Kim's Seo who is a driven, serious and straightlaced fellow who immediately detects something bigger than just a series of random murders. Hyeon-gyu begins to show discomfort when Seo presents the peaches, and thinks he's found the killer. They chase him into a crowd. All four actors I mention here do an excellent job with their respective roles.
And like Zodiac, Memories of Murder is ultimately less concerned with actual acts of violence than with their long, painful aftermath: For those who knew the victims, for the detectives tasked with investigating their crimes, and for the community as a whole. The Detective Seo Tae-Yoon from Seoul comes to the country to help the investigations and is convinced that a serial-killer is killing the women. Two months later, a series of rapes and murders commences under similar circumstances. The department of scares and chills are handled very well in both films, but where they perhaps most excel is in the procedural side of things. Fincher's approach is arguably more unrelenting in its darkness, but Zodiac is never one-note in this regard. Park and Seo listen to Baek's earlier confession to a previous murder.
Gyllenhaal has perhaps the more thankless role of the lot as its mostly a reactionary role as the audience's avatar into the world of the Zodiac, but he's effective as being our ostensible protagonist, conveying the growing obsession with the case with aplomb, and makes for an interesting counterpoint to Ruffalo, who plays a badass cop who never acts like a badass, he just is. One flaw is that some might find the film a bit long in the tooth, but this is not to be missed for fans of serial killer thrillers and police procedural movies. Local detective Park Doo-man, not having dealt with such a serious case before, is overwhelmed; key evidence is improperly collected, the police's investigative methods are suspect, and their forensic technology is near non-existent. It has sequences like the basement scene, and of course the murder sequences and one lucky escape that is absolutely terrifying , which are horrifying in that they really get under your skin and make you feel like your at the scene of crime, at the moment. Infuriated that they lost their suspect, Park scuffles with Seo, until Kwon alerts them that the same song the murderer requested is playing.
He finds him and uses his eye contact method, instinctively thinking Baek is responsible. It's great work by both actors as they manage to make such a strange coupling of characters and ideologies work in pursuit of a common good that ultimately fails. Park and Cho continue their tactic and brutally beat the man. First, the mood: Haunting cinematography rain falling on a small village at night, shadows darting across a thick field of grass, figures lurking in the woods, a masterfully choreographed hot pursuit scene on foot , a poignant music score aided by the creepy use of a Korean pop song that accompanies each murder , and no-nonsense direction peppered with fabulous doses of comic relief--how Shakespearan! Winner: Memories of Murder Editing Both films are paced impeccably, with Zodiac in particular never feeling quite as long as it actually is. Best of the lot, though, is perhaps Jimmi Simpson as one of the Zodiac killer's victims. They follow a trail of clues to a factory worker Park Hyeon-gyu who had only moved to the area a short time before the first murder. At the end of the film's run, Memories of Murder was also the fourth most viewed film of all time in the country, after , and.
You really get to know the people investigating the crime as multidimensional characters, and it makes their every action resonate all the more. They realize it's raining, and arrive too late to find another woman murdered. Charles Fleischer, he of Roger Rabbit fame, has one incredibly creepy scene, Robert Downey Jr. Korean Cinema 2003, Korean Film Commission. The detectives are unable to pin anything on him; when they realize that the retarded boy witnessed one of the crimes and try to speak to him, they frighten him so badly that he runs in front of an oncoming train and is killed. Seo decides to ignore the documents and chooses to believe Hyeon-gyu is the murderer.
And it was also chosen as the best Korean film of the century. Park learns that Cho's leg will have to be amputated, because the rusty nail caused , leaving Park feeling guilty about what he had gotten his partner and best friend into. As in the film, the actual murderer has not been caught. Local detective Park Doo-man, not having dealt with such a serious case before, is overwhelmed; key is improperly collected, the police's investigative methods are suspect, and their technology is near non-existent. It manages to make a casual visit downstairs to a seemingly kindly old man's basement the stuff of nightmares, and a large part of that has to be attested to the excellent sound mixing and editing which achieves the perfect balance of horror and ambiguity. I suppose I'll give the slight edge to Zodiac, but they're both downright amazing films in their own ways.
The beauty is in the details, and this film, like all the great ones, revels in their uncovering. Before he can question more, Cho loses control and beats Hyeon-gyu, prompting their superior to fire him. The film won the South Korean film industry's 2003 for best film, while Bong Joon-ho and Song Kang-ho won the awards for best director and best leading actor respectively. Cho Yong-koo Kim Roi-ha is a bruiser who routinely beats suspects until they confess to crimes. Both films are directed impeccably, but I guess I'll give the win to Fincher by a hair for how he manages to make unrelenting dread feel so unnervingly natural within the film, without feeling over the top. While Seo investigates and tries to piece together the clues, Park and his men beat confessions out of a local man found masturbating at the scene of one crime, and a mentally retarded boy whom they threaten to kill, going so far as to make him dig his own grave. Detective Seo Tae-yoon is sent from Seoul to assist them; their methods clash and he is unable to convince them they are dealing with a serial killer until his predictions of another murder come true.