Memories of Murder (2003)
Following his debut satire film Barking Dogs Never Bite and prior to gaining international fame after blockbuster The Host, director Joon-ho Bong shook Korean with his masterpiece revolving around serial killer Memories of Murder (Salinui chueok).
In rural province area, two bodies of women are found, ditched in country side outskirts, in fields of grain. Both brutally raped and killed in similar ways. Two incompetent and inexperienced with such big case cops are assigned the case, detective Park Doo-Man (Kang-ho Song) and his belligerent partner Cho Yong-koo (Roe-ha Kim). Thinking it's just domestic murders they try to work the case using methods that are popular at that time in Korean police, guess work and violence against suspects, but nothing comes out of it. Soon, detective Seo Tae-Yoon (Sang-kyung Kim) is sent from Seoul to assist local police. They are not fond of each other and their approach to investigation differs much, but eventually they start to work together and make some progress. But will it be enough to catch the killer?
Absolutely fantastic work, that is one of my favorites of all the movies I've ever seen. Stunningly beautiful cinematography, each scene is masterfully crafted, every character and dialogue appears to be so genuine. It's brutal and violent, but not on the screen (well, sometimes). It posses that grim undertones that curl through it, not stopping until characters and viewer himself feel powerlessness and despair.
When credits rolled I was left in that bad kind of mood that only good movies about dark side of humanity leave behind, a sign how involved you become with the world that is portrayed for you by director.
Notably this movie, like many others, is based on real events, first serial killer case that had happened in Korean history. Movies ending paralleled with these real life events make it so much more powerful.
It gets huge recommendation from me, definitely a must see.
DVD from Amazon
Blu-ray | DVD from YesAsia