Monday, September 29, 2014

The Suspect / Yong-eui-ja (2013)

I haven't made up my mind how to name my posts when movie has non-English titles. Posts are in English and Google probably find them better in English. This time there were two movies from 2013 with name The Suspect. That is why I added original name to title.

Rakkautta & Anarkiaa is film festival I usually get most of my yearly dose of Asian movies. Festival has good selection of them and they don't usually get to theaters in Finland. This year I missed couple movies since I was too busy during festival. The Suspect is first Asian movie I saw this year's festival.

Protagonist is Dong-cheul, former North Korean elite agent. He was betrayed and his wife and daughter killed. Now he is in South Korea looking for the killer. I know he told in trailer he was looking for his daughter. That was stupid choice. He will be looking for his daughter after he learns she might still be alive. That was the twist of the movie and you tell it in trailer. The angle was well written and told in couple great scenes.

Movie is 137 minutes long action thriller. There is about 45 minutes too much. Cutting the action and some repetitive  flashback and this would have been good movie. It has lot of good things like interesting characters, good story and some great scenes. There were too much chasing. Flashbacks were repeated with little additions every times. Last time they told something interesting. Until that they only added length. During chase scenes I just waited them to end. The story was much more interesting and I wanted to see it.

Movie had only one clearly bad guy, who used situation between  North and South Korea for his advantage. Other characters had more dimensions in them. Some may seem to be evil at first but may later turn out to have some good in them and be victims of situations. Characters grow during  movie and we see sides of the we don't expect. Good characters give us great scenes. Best moments happen when we anticipate action to start, aftermath of action scene or calm moments during action scenes.

Characters were written well, but same can't be said of main espionage story. At times it felt like that story was put on hold. Like movie itself knew how bad it was and told it only when it had to. Either I missed something important of it or it was stupid. I am not sure what had happened if Dong-cheul's boss wasn't killed. It started the espionage story and made officials chase Dong-cheul.

Why movie had to be so long? It seem like movies have to be over two hours these days even if there is not content for more than one and half hours. This would have made good one and half hour movie if right parts were cut off. I am not against long movies. Next day I sat in theater for five hours watching two part movie and didn't feel it was too long. It depends on movie, if it works longer or not. This didn't. To underline it, movie didn't end at cigarette buying scene. It had couple scenes after that natural ending scene.


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