Friday, July 1, 2011

MEMORIES OF MURDER (Korean) (2003)

“It’s like an obsession with me. I like putting these characters in impossible situations that they can’t deal with. That’s what makes powerful drama, when you’ve a superhero going for a mission, the outcome is too predictable. If you’ve seen my films, whether it’s these losers going against a serial killer or against a creature, it’s the same structure. I think through these characters I can differentiate myself from Hollywood genres. Korean audiences are very used to watching a Hollywood superhero. Now they want someone they can relate to.”

– Bong Joon Ho

I’m ending up watching one of the brilliant and emotionally uncompromising mystery thriller which forces the viewers to think hard about its genre. Though it’s a murder mystery based on South Korea’s most notorious killer, it plays off with all the traditional expectations of defined genre. It’s absolutely different experience for me where twists and turns of dark homicide case runs parallel to the two emotionally unsettling detectives juxtaposed to each other handling the puzzling homicide case. The setting is not your mundane city but a small town and the sin of crime is paddy field. And what’s more captivating is it’s subtext of moral and emotional struggle as its progresses further near climax.

After a decade or so, Korean cinema has set his own standards and made it’s own mark and identity against Hollywood blockbusters. Director Bong Joon Ho brought to screen another unforgettable experience. I just loved the way he played with irony, dark humor of human behavior and social morality. The man bloody well knows how to manipulate audience with ambiguity about character, situation and crime. He got full marks on cinematography too which itself is fine proof of narration in some of the scenes.

Kudos to Bong Joon Ho…I’m so desperate watch his ‘Mother’ and lesser known ‘Barking Dogs Never Bite’.


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