Monday, September 05, 2005

Memories of Murder (2005)

Riveting Korean drama starts out as a police-procedural with a bizarre sense of humor. The shifts in tone can be difficult to keep up with at first, but eventually the mind acclimates -- the gallows humor often functions as a welcome respite from the gory proceedings. Then the film gets progressively grimmer, until what started as a frivolous, farcical bit of historical recreation ends up as a howl of anguish at the bestiality of man and the frustration a good person feels when they cannot change bad circumstances. One gets the idea of an entire country losing its collective innocence all at once, with confusion and violence being the only possible responses. (I'm sure there's a political dimension to all this, but my knowledge of Korean history is inadequate.) Pretty awesome stuff, really. The final scene is about as good as any you'll see.

Grade: A-


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