Memories of Murder (Sarinui chueok): Movie Review

What's most striking about "Memories of Murder" is not that it is an already excellent crime drama but rather it is a deep reflection and snapshot of South Korean society back in the 80s - when life was certainly not as modern and rich as we see right now. In the context of Filipino culture, this might serve as threading familiar ground even to this day with lazy police work, non-existent forensics, police harrasment and misleading obssession in solving a case. At the end of the day, "Memories of Murder" will leave you deeply shooked no matter the contexts you decide to undertake.
In 1986, two women are found raped and murdered. Since this is in the province, local authorities are ill-prepared to take these cases. Local detective Park Doo-man has to tackle with the fact that evidence has been tampered or improperly collected, investigative techniques are abusive, and forensic technology non-existent. In fact, Park believes he can determine a person's guilt by looking at his or her eyes. When their star suspect turn up to be completely incorrect, the investigative team is revamped. The new team, now working more scientifically discovers a pattern to the killings. The serial killer targets women during rainy nights and requests a particular song to be played on the radio. With this in hand, can Park and the other members involved in the case finally catch the serial killer and stop more women from being killed?
If you loved the nuance of "Parasite" then "Memories of Murder" will astound you. In fact, if we could choose, "Memories of Murder" in our opinion is the more superior Bong Joon-ho experience. Central to this opinion was the narrative of "Memories of Murder". While the critical thoughts and topics the film tackled were more blatantly, this also meant that this film was very easy to follow with its points. But this did not diminish its impact and the film was one that was full of context not only with the serial killer case but a whole lot more. The serial killer is just the tip of the iceberg and Bong Joon-ho weaved a tale that also tackled South Korean society back in the 80s showing clearly the deficiencies of that time in a very natural manner. Major topics that we noticed were how varied or unqequal the lives of those living in Seoul and those living in the province were, how the police force was abusive and did not get any respect from the public and how technology more or less hasn't touched South Korean society yet. This is far from the South Korea we all know with its modern glitz and fast-paced society. But the story is just one aspect. Another factor was the acting in which our leads and supporting cast were simply outstanding and made the whole experience immersive. The change of opinion we had with the character Park Doo-man was something we did not anticipate. We hated him at first but eventually we got to understand the investigative psyche and methods that he had developed under a corrupt system - may this be for good or for bad. Another surprising element within the film was its undeniably weird but effective use of comedy. While the film had this comical feel to it, this is one very serious film by the time the credits roll and don't let its funny side fool you into thinking that this isn't a dramatic film. Overall, "Memories of Murder" was an exquisite film to experience from first minute to last. This was a whodunnit film with a solid crime drama core with various side plots that just gave, gave, and gave so much.
Rating: 5 reels

Why you should watch it:
- one of the best crime drama whoddunit films we have ever seen

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- no particular reason not to watch this Bong Joon-ho classic

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