In 1986, in the province of Gyunggi, in South Korea, a second young and beautiful woman is found dead, raped and tied and gagged with her underwear. Detective Park Doo-Man and Detective Cho Yong-koo, two brutal and stupid local detectives without any technique, investigate the murder using brutality and torturing the suspects, without any practical result. 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. When a third woman is found dead in the same "modus-operandi", the detectives find leads of the assassin.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Bong Joon Ho has stated that the script for Memories of Murder (2003) was directly influenced by Alan Moore's comic book From Hell, and that he was also "a bit disappointed with the Hughes brothers' film of it." See more »
In the letter received from the FBI written in English, there are four spelling mistakes - 'examnation' instead of 'examination', 'insrumental' instead of 'instrumental', 'dateed' instead of 'dated' and 'Octorber' instead of 'October'. See more »
The British DVD by Optimum Releasing has 5 minutes cut omitting the whole part of the film between the release of the last suspect and Detective Seo Tae-Yoon shadowing him. Therefore important scenes for the development of the story are missing, such as when the detectives are informed about the possibility of a DNA analysis of sperm found on one of the victim's clothes and that the sample has to be sent abroad because the required equipment is not in Korea. Also missing is the sequence where Detective Cho Yong-koo loses his leg and a scene with Kwok Seol-yung asking Detective Park Doo-Man to quit the police. See more »
This is probably the best crime thriller I've seen since "Insomnia," and contains the most haunting climax of any serial killer flick since "Seven." But like most films reaching for greatness, this is most admirable for its striking details.
The filmmakers here craft a taut, careful, and delicately strung together motion picture that relishes in its amazing development of mood, place, and character.
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!) keep the film more and more intriguing at each turn and fascinating to watch.
Second, the place: South Korea, circa the late 1980's, and apparently under some sort of militia rule. This is inspired by the true story of Korea's first publicized (and still unsolved) serial killer case. 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.
Finally, the character development: The small details revealing the haunted souls of the detectives on the case is nothing short of brilliant. Witness the tiny executions of minutae: The cloth one rogue cop wraps around his boot so as not to leave scars when he kick-boxes suspects into submission, the harried chief of police checking his own blood pressure while trying to keep his off-the-cuff detectives in line or fighting to keep headline-starved reporters at bay, the young female officer desperately trying to showcase her abilities in crime solving between serving the chauvinistic detectives cups of fresh coffee, the outsider detective from Seoul's insistence that documents never lie (and the brutal irony at the climax that challenges his entire sense of being), and the main village detective's scathing speech on the difference between American FBI agents and Koren policemen. The beauty is in the details, and this film, like all the great ones, revels in their uncovering.
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. For the Korean filmmakers, and the amazing cast...this is their master stroke.
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