#213: Memories of Murder (2003)

When and how did I watch this?

October 10th, 2015, on Hulu Plus.

Had I seen this film already?


What did I know about the movie before watching it?

Yet another foreign film.  The last Korean film was “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring”, which is now one of the best films I’ve ever seen.  If that wasn’t the best the country had to offer, I was prepared to be blown away.

What do I know about it now?

Well, I wasn’t blown away.  The film has all of the elements of a crime/drama thriller, but several elements worked against the film.  The actors attempted to be “tough guys” throughout, and while a pair of the detectives were supposed to be ignorant and selfish, everything felt forced.  This one was put out in 2003, and by then this theme had been done thousands of times, many in better ways. I expected a multi-layered film with some depth, but there was very little room for development. The serial killer elements were intense, and the ending had a “twist” (though it was based on a real case, being the first serial murder case ever), but I wasn’t really taken aback by anything else.

What are some themes in the film?

Death, corruption, preconceptions/assumptions, psychoanalysis

Did this affect me personally?

Not at all. I’ll probably forget about this one in a couple of weeks.

Why is this ranked #213?

Solely on the merit of being one of the best South Korea has to offer, along with being based on a true story.  We recognize they’re merely copying American stuff, but man, you’d expect a little more innovation.

Did my wife watch/like it?


Would I watch it again?


Would I recommend it to a friend?

I think some might enjoy it, but I wouldn’t suggest going out of your way to see it.

Does it deserve to be on this list as one of the greatest films of all time?

Not at all.  There are several more films just like this one, acted and filmed better, with a more compelling story (true or otherwise). I’m baffled this made the list.  It’s not a terrible film, but there’s nothing particularly interesting about it that sets it apart. The bar is getting too high to make “exceptions.”

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