Based on the true story of South Korea?s first serial killer. When women start turning up dead in a small town in S. Korea in 1986, two reluctantly-partnered cops resolve to bring him to justice. Without DNA testing or mo... more »dern forensics, the investigators are forced to rely mainly on intuition and brute force. At times both touching and hilarious, MEMORIES OF MURDER is a riveting tale of a mysterious killer and the ceaseless pressure on those charged with stopping his rampage.« less
"Since a synopsis would be redundant here, I'll confine myself to praise alone.
Each positive comment that precedes this is accurate. I watched this movie yesterday. I couldn't take my eyes off it. Everything taking place onscreen was riveting, from the simple act of walking down a dark lonely road in the rain, to a wild chase by three desperate detectives. This movie held me in thrall.
As a new viewer of Asian movies, I try to analyze the reason I tend not to be interested in western works any longer. I finally came to the conclusion that it has to do with the accessibility of the players. They seem to be people first, actors by choice, and stars, by the public making them so.
In Memories of Murder, I saw this human factor almost too painfully. By the end of the story, I was in tears. Even now, the mood prevails. It's been so long since these crimes took place, and I don't know absolutely that they remain unsolved, but I think it's the case, and I think about that.
The actors have become the people in my mind, and the horrible sense of defeat that becomes palpable eventually, is heartbreaking. When one relates to the inroads made on the health; mental and physical; of the detectives, who are ultimately portrayed as tireless and completely dedicated to the case, you realize that you've watched something that is historic. You have seen the probable truth.
The way this movie draws you into it, so that you are walking through dangerous rain, with a warning shout in your throat, points to the brilliance of the director and the players.
It is difficult to say, "I love this movie", just as it is hard to say, I love Silence of the Lambs, because love is a peculiar word to use for such fare.
But yes, I love it for the fact that during it, I was in a small village in South Korea in a terrible era of air-raid warnings, military dictatorship, and the hopeless pursuit of a serial killer, and landed back here in this time and place with a thud, only after turning off the DVD player, and going to the kitchen for a glass of water. I was there, I felt the desperation, and I felt the defeat and the sorrow of the detectives, who were essentially decent enough human beings when all was said and done.
There are not many movies that can time-travel you into their present. This will do it.
I most seriously recommend that you view the interviews with the director and the stars (all of them are stars of a special kind in my mind) in order to dispel some of the hold the story will have on you.
These are incredibly interesting people, and it's a sheer joy to see them smiling and peaceful. They're intelligent, educated and articulate. The younger members of the cast, the less seasoned, are so beautiful in their desire to do it right.
They definitely did it right. They were wonderful, and they thanked the interviewer. How lovely that was to see.
I watched the movie using the English subtitles rather than the English dubbing because I wanted the authenticity. The subtitles were very good."
Joon-ho Bong's KOREAN film "Memories of Murder" (2003)
amedusa50x | Maryland, USA | 07/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Heads up, everyone! Despite the fact that Nancy Allen is listed here by amazon.com as starring in this film, she most definitely does not. The film being advertised here as due to be released on DVD in August 2005 in the U.S. is a Korean film originally released overseas in 2003 under the title "Salinui Chueok," its title in English being "Memories of Murder." It's an amazing, unique, intense, sometimes hilarious, always fiercely intelligent murder mystery from the powerful young Korean director Joon-ho Bong and features a 100% Korean cast speaking Korean (with English subtitles). Nancy Allen only wishes she'd been in this movie!
A few hours ago I was in the grip of insomnia and was playing around with Comcast On Demand to see if there was anything worth seeing that I hadn't seen already when I noticed a section under Free Movies called "Palm Pictures," a section I hadn't explored before. I clicked on "Palm Pictures," then on "Palm Festival," saw "Memories of Murder" listed, read the brief synopsis, and figured, what the heck, there's no better time to watch a Korean film than 2 a.m., so I went for it, figuring it wouldn't be a tragedy if I wound up dozing off ...
Not a chance! I was wide-eyed with my mouth open from beginning to end. Never even made it to the fridge. Forgot all about eating, drinking, or even breathing at times, and sleep was definitely not an option. Once the end credits rolled, I was hurtling toward my computer with one question in my mind: "Who is this astounding dude Joon-ho Bong, and where oh where can I buy a DVD of this movie?"
Well ... turns out you can find inexpensive DVDs of Joon-ho Bong's "Memories of Murder" on eBay, but I think they're Region 0 imports, which isn't saying they're bad necessarily, but now that I've discovered that a Region 1 DVD is coming out in the U.S. a scant few weeks from now, I'm holding out for it. I only hope it has all of the special features (interviews with the director and the actors, special effects commentary, an alternate ending, some discussion of the actual murders in Korea upon which the film's story was based, etc.) I've seen mentioned on the Internet as being present on the European and Asian DVDs.
What an eye-opener this film was for me! Superb acting. Gorgeous photography. Slightly improbable plot in parts, but I doubt you'll care; I sure didn't. "Silence of the Lambs" was improbable in parts as well but was still riveting. I found the Korean language in this film fascinating to listen to and wasn't bugged by the subtitles at all. In fact, half the time I forgot to read the subtitles because whatever I needed to know was all in the actors' faces and in the landscape ... and what faces! What a landscape!
Oh, and Nancy Allen actually did appear in a mediocre 1990 made-for-TV movie called "Memories of Murder," but it's not the same as Joon-ho Bong's blockbuster Korean hit "Memories of Murder" from 2003, so be careful when you order, and please see the terrific review (wish I'd written it!) of Joon-ho Bong's "Memories of Murder" at the IMDb website for more details.
Whatever you do, don't miss this film!"
Fascinating Criminal Story in the Backdrop of 1980s South Ko
Kim Anehall | Chicago, IL USA | 07/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the 1986 when South Korea was under totalitarian rule there was a series of grisly murders of young women in a rural area. The rural police used unconventional methods in order to attempt to uncover the identity of the killer after they discovered the first body. When a second body is discovered a police officer from Seoul is sent to help with the investigation, but the rural police become more crude in their methods. This leads to a further distrust of the police force as it begins to cloud the police force's own judgment as more bodies are discovered. Memories of Murder is an interesting investigation story that displays a societal phenomenon of the rural area that is plagued of poor policing and a murderer. The director Joon-ho Bong creates an intelligent and brilliant cinematic experience as he reveals the truth behind a true event that took place in South Korea in 1986."
Not your run of the mill police procedural...
Lee E. | Arkansas | 06/06/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
Memories of Murder is based on the true story of S. Korea's first reported serial killer. The murders occur in a country town and focus on the year 1986. Detective Park (the wonderful Kang Ho Song) and Detective Cho are assigned to the case, but the investigation is poor, and the detectives inexperienced in such serious crimes. Their idea of solving the case is by beating, torturing and coercing confessions out of any outcast that comes under their radar. Detective Seo from Seoul is brought onto the case to help with the investigation, but even after a few hopeful leads the case seems to go nowhere. Memories of Murder shows an interesting twist to the police procedural. The director and writer, Joon Ho Bong, brings something to the genre you don't often see: comedy. For those who are use to seeing Kang Ho Song as a composed and calculated man (such as he was in Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and JSA)will be surprised to find him more as a bumbling, obnoxious country bumpkin detective. He's particularly amusing though, especially when singing off key in a bar. There are other great touches in the film; like for example after the detectives finish interviewing a suspect about the murder they are shown casually pushing their stalled car down the road. And you won't see anyone do better drop kicks in cinema than the actors do in this film. I had a few problems with Memories. There was an unnecessary sex scene that seems out of place in the film, and the amputation of a detective's leg is mentioned, and then never brought up again. The movie also has a few cliches, but all of these problems were small as compared to the movie as a whole. Memories of Murder does not treat the true events lightly, as we see the detectives pour their hearts into finding the serial killer. Unfortunately, so far the effort has been for not. "
Fabulous & realistic Korean detective thriller
Cory D. Slipman | Rockville Centre, N.Y. | 09/06/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Director Joon-ho Bong does a wonderful job, in his depiction of the investigation which was based on a true story, surrounding a serial murderer in a pastoral Korean village in 1986. Without schooling in modern investigative, two rural detectives Park and Cho attempt to use brutality and intuition to apprehend the murderer. They are joined in the inquest by an inspector from Seoul, Detective Seo who despite a more modern approach is nonetheless also flummoxed in his pursuit.
Although there are many clues provided by the killer and a plethora of suspects, the detectives collaboratively cannot definitely pin the crime on any particular individual. Their frustration mounts when they receive a response from the U.S. in reference to a DNA test, that clears the prime suspect.
Seventeen years elapse and detective Park, who has retired from the police, at the behest of his wife, and is now a businessman. His travels bring him into the proximity of the location of the first murder. The memory of the case lures him back to the site, where he learns from a young schoolgirl that some nondescript person presumably the killer, had also been recently checking out the site. "