The Fangirls’ Movie Review: Memoir of a Murderer

The Fangirls watched Kim Nam Gil’s latest movie Memories of a Murderer and have many thoughts we want to share.  How can you not have opinions when you have double the serial killers?  So join us as we share whether this movie is one that is worth investing your time and emotions.

TRAILER:

SYNOPSIS:

Can a serial killer recognize one of his own?

Kim Byeong Soo (Sol Kyung Gu) is a former serial killer who used to kill people he thought deserved it because of their atrocious actions, starting with his violent and abusive father. After a car accident contributed to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease a decade ago, Byeong Soo stopped killing and now leads a quiet life with his daughter, Eun Hee (Kim Seolhyun). Byeong Soo keeps a secret diary and voice recordings to try to help him retain his fleeting memories.

One day, Byeong Soo becomes convinced that Eun Hee’s boyfriend, Tae Joo (Kim Nam Gil), also is a serial killer. Byeong Soo solicits the help of his police buddy, Byeong Man, to bring Tae Joo to justice. But when Tae Joo abducts Eun Hee, can Byeong Soo save her in time or could the entire event be his own mind playing tricks on him?

THE PLOT

Kmuse: As the synopsis says we are watching a show with double the amount of serial killers.  I find the concept of whether someone that is mentally damaged in this way can recognize the same emotions in another interesting.  I also think that this movie dealt with that aspect very well.  The addition of having one of the killers suffering from dementia is genius.  It added a new layer to your usual serial killer concept.

Kdrama Jen: This was such a unique concept.  We see a reformed serial killer using his knowledge of how he used to commit and hide murders to recognize this same thing in another.  Added to that, it seems like this young serial killer now plans to harm the innocent daughter of the senior serial killer.  I love how the reformed killer with dementia is shown trying to figure out what is real and what is not.  Of course, that means the audience spend the entire show doing the same!

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Kmuse: The director did a great job on creating a creepy mood by using the two killers’ mannerisms. Every time the Dad’s eye started twitching it gave me chills.  I’m not sure if it was on purpose but the cold and dead landscape around them also added to the feeling of freezing emptiness. It felt similar to those emotions that the men lacked.

Kdrama Jen: The setting definitely added to the mood.  It was a small town where everyone knew one another, yet…they didn’t really.  It felt like there were no real bursts of color, only the same monochromatic landscape.  Chilling!

CHARACTER OBSERVATIONS

Kmuse: Both men in the movie were brilliant.  I could not stop commenting to Kdrama Jen how impressed I was with their performance.  Sadly, that was not the case for Seolhyun’s portrayal as the daughter and girlfriend stuck between two killers.  I keep wanting to like Seolhyun since visually she is very dynamic but at the end of the day, I am very underwhelmed with her performance.  At most, I can say that she was a pretty face that managed to say the few lines she was given.

Kdrama Jen: To be fair, I am not sure there was much she could do with the handful of lines she was given.  You can only do so much with the repeated line, “Dad!  Dad?  Dad!!”  Her character was just not written to have much depth or intelligence.  She was a plot device to have the two serial killers come face to face.

Thoughts On The Final Twist

Kmuse: This is my only complaint.  The ending twist that involved the dad’s memory left me feeling very confused.  That said, if you don’t mind being a bit confused then it is still worth watching.

Kdrama Jen: Yeah.  Besides the confusing ending, I also think the odd part where the young killer pulled off half of his head was bizarre.  I don’t know if it was supposed to be a metaphor or artistic license or what, but it left me saying WT…huh?

OVERALL REACTION

Kmuse: I was happy we watched this drama together and felt it was a good use of our time.  Despite the bit of confusion, we had (we even looked it up on Wikipedia……..still confused.) I had a fun time.  Well worth the two hours and I give it a solid 7.5/10.

Kdrama Jen: I loved watching with my Kbestie and this show simply confirmed my Kim Nam Gil appreciation.  He was great as a serial killer, but I believe his next role is as a hotblooded priest.  Can’t wait!

Til our next movie adventure,

The Fangirls

Dramas with a Side of Kimchi

You can find Memoir of a Murderer HERE on VIKI
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