Sunday, 28 September 2014

Recommended: The Chaser

Ah, once upon a time I was cutting edge! I followed J-dramas with more attention than a cat following a wounded bird! I saw all the dramas and plenty of films, and I even wrote about future seasons and what I was looking forward to. Now, lack of time has put an end to all that, and I’m just as reliant on review sites as anyone else. So tonight I’m going to dash off two reviews of films that I found out from other sites.

I found this film on a Top 25 of Korean Movies, and for some reason the description appealed to me, so I hunted it down and had a look.

The Chaser is a thriller, but is best described as a Tragedy of Errors. Most thrillers and mysteries rely on the characters misunderstanding something vital that increases the danger and heightens the tension, but this has people making mistakes all the time. And not just one big mistake, like asking for help at an old abandoned house in the middle of nowhere. Little things. Like a missed call, a wrong turning or a set of dropped keys.

The storyline revolves around an ex-cop who is now a pimp who is convinced that his best prostitutes are being kidnapped and sold on. When a familiar phone number asks for a particular woman, he suspects this is him, and he puts in place a plan to catch him.

Except nothing goes right, not for the pimp, nor the killer (since the women aren’t being kidnapped at all) nor the police who don’t know how to deal with an ex-cop-turned-pimp yelling about abductions, while another man is calmly telling them he’s murdered nine people.

If I’ve made it sound funny, then it’s not. Not really. In fact, it’s more painful to watch everyone come to reasonable but agonisingly wrong conclusions. But at the same time, I can’t fault how nicely everything fits together. It’s a tense time-bomb of a film, and definitely worth anyone’s time.

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