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. Then 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.
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Cast & Credits
From the very first moment I saw the description of Memories of Murder I was sure I was going to at least like this film. Why? Let’s begin with genre: I’m a sucker for things related with serial murders; creepy, I know, but I love this dark, eerie atmosphere that’s usually present in such films. After deciding that this movie is worth watching I’ve done a little research about it… and the things I’ve discovered made me even more certain that this movie is just perfect for me. Not only it is based on real events, but the culprit of this crime was never found! Another thing: I’ve read somewhere that Quentin Tarantino said that this movie is among his Top 20 favorite movies since 1992 – well, that’s a sufficient recommendation for me.
This movie has amazing acting - every single actor made his role alive and believable. The most outstanding one was Song Kang Ho, who plays a role of a stupid local detective, good only at forcing testimonies out of (usually innocent) people with a use of brutal force; evidences are not important to him, the only thing he needs is his intuition. So… yeah, you guess right, he’s not what we call a good cop. He has his sidekick, and boy, this guy is even more stupid and brutal than his hyung – it’s usually him who does dirty work (hanging people upside down, kicking them in the face with combat boots, digging a grave for them etc). So how can such detectives resolve as complicated case as serial murders? Fortunately for them, there’s this guy from Seoul who comes to help them in an investigation - and he is the exact opposite of our country bumpkins.
What I liked about this movie was that it wasn’t only about finding a murderer; it also showed us a believable development of characters. Park Doo Man discovers there are other ways to find a culprit than forcing a testimony out of suspects and Seo Tae Yoon starts to doubt his own, "good" methods. It all combined with great acting, thrilling action and a bit of humor creates an amazing movie. So, if you like thrillers and you’re not put off by violence, then Memories of Murder is just for you.
Everything in this movie is working, and it's working very well. Just to name a few: The cinematography, the acting, and the plot development.
There are also a lot of poignant and captivating scenes that make the movie very compelling. It keeps offering questions instead of answers, that results in not merely a movie, but a truly engaging experience.