Jung-Ho a famous photographer who has a special ability to read people's minds, has just returned to Korea from abroad. Jung-Ho still can't get rid of traumatic memories of his late ... See full summary »
Jung-Ho a famous photographer who has a special ability to read people's minds, has just returned to Korea from abroad. Jung-Ho still can't get rid of traumatic memories of his late girlfriend who ended her life in front of him. In the midst of this, Jung-Ho becomes a temporary guardian for Soo-Yeon a little girl whose mother is in a coma. Detective Kim begins to suspect Jung-Ho is involved in the gruesome events that surround him. And the case becomes even more desperate when Soo-Yeon herself disappears. Written by
"No! No! I don't believe it! Don't ... oh no ... Hey! Great shot!"
When I saw the poster for this movie of the two guys and the girl with the big red clown lips painted on her face I said, "That's messed up, that's freaky. What's that all about?"
World of Silence, a.k.a. Missing Girl, is a classic who-dunnit mystery/suspense/thriller/melodrama drama/buddy cop comedy from South Korea. At its heart, it's the story of a world weary cop, and his goof-ball partner, investigating a series of murders of young orphaned girls who appear to have been tripping on non-indigenous magic mushrooms and otherwise treated very well before their deaths. No visible signs of trauma. Woven into that is the story of a man who possesses extra-sensory abilities and a constantly unfolding history of sadness and loss who, coincidentally or not, appears ahead of the cops at each of the crime scenes and who, as plot would have it, takes custody of a young orphaned girl with a very plot specific special disease.
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This film is sprinkled with throw-popcorn-at-the-screen, Crime and Punishment style coincidences and delivered with a controlled ominousness worthy of Brian De Palma and General Hospital. The more films I see from South Korea the more I see that this kind of mixed genre bag is quite common. It might take a little patience and getting used to, but when it's as well executed as World of Silence it's a very fulfilling film experience. I hesitate to throw melodrama into the mix because it often conjures up associations of chick-flick, which this flick is certainly not, and in the capable hands of director Ui-seok Jo melodrama is a key ingredient, used almost as a heat check, a dare, alongside mystery elements and light-hearted humor to keep the audience engaged.
Despite a few groan-out-loud-inducing plot moves and a few eye-rollers to boot, I loved this movie. The performances are all top-notch. Yong-woo Park (My Scary Girl) plays the world-weary detective with a cynical sense of humor, unkempt hair, and a cool leather jacket. Sang-kyung Kim, who played that role in Memories of Murder, plays the mystery man here. A very pleasant surprise is the uncredited young girl who plays the orphan Soo-yeon Park. She is adorably able to transform her screen presence from sad orphaned girl whose father died in a car accident and whose mother's been in a coma for two years but described to her as having a really bad cold and needing to take a really long nap, a nap that Soo-yeon hopes she will awake from in time to attend her upcoming talent show, to a smiling and feeling loved 3rd grader in the length of a breath.
World of Silence peels off layer upon layer, uncovering about five film's worth of internal demons and other dramatic tragedies, but it ends, and it seems to end a few times, like a famous sportscaster screaming "No! No! I don't believe it! Don't ..." and then "Great shot!" when it goes in.
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