By Shivam Sharma (India)
The story is set in South Korea, 1986 under the military dictatorship, revolving around two rural cops and a special detective from the capital investigating a series of brutal murders and how their desperate measures to find the killer turn into frustration with each corpse found.
A small city, a series of murders, a bunch of cops investigating the case and even a bigger bunch of suspects: A very conventional plot for a mystery crime drama for any usual film, but again Memories of Murder, is a Korean film directed by Joon-ho Bong and most of the Korean films that I’ve watched have certainly managed to surprise me with their unconventional story-telling and moreover with their satisfying climax and this film is no exception.
Perhaps, it leaves you wanting more in the end unless one figures out that this is not a regular murder mystery but a superbly done, beautifully enacted drama detailing psychological turmoil of the protagonists trying to solve a series of murders and how the case feeds on their minds. The subtle direction and tone of this movie speaks for itself, and separates it from the other movies of this genre.
Directed by Joo-ho Bong, Memories of Murder is a brutal story, not because of its graphic nature but mostly because of its closeness to reality and the message it hides within itself. The cast of the movie is great especially, Song Kang-ho, who brings a little bit of a melodrama to the film with a fair bit amount of humor, which at some places acts like a tension relief to this tense crime drama.
Based on a true story, Memories of Murder does a top notch job even with its limitations and what keeps it different from other crime dramas based on true stories is its impeccable treatment that works in the best possible way to keep it intriguing enough and leaves you satisfied as it reaches an end of a story with no definite end.