Memories of Murder – Korean Greatness

After my last long winded rant on different people’s likes and such I find myself just recording my feelings as I look for some korean media to watch that I would like.  I seem to not like all the korean dramas that are hot and I wondered why and that is why I recorded my thoughts in my last blog post.

But on this weekend in front of my computer I thought about what are some of korea’s great dramas and movies and one that stands head and shoulders above the rest is ‘Memories of Murder’.

Memories of Murder
Memories of Murder

I blogged about this movie before but thought I would go alittle deeper this time.  The movie is based on the true story of the country’s first known serial murders, which took place between 1986 and 1991 in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province.  Something like a total of 10 similar murders were committed in the Hwaseong area between 1986 and 1991. Over 300,000 policemen took part in the investigation and over 3,000 suspects were interrogated.  That all according to wikipedia by the way. The article in wikipedia also mentions that Director Quentin Tarantino named it as one of his Top 20 favorite movies.  Wow great basis for a movie right?

I first went to korea in 2003 when this movie was released and saw it available a number of times on sites since then and finally tried watching it I think for the first time on  It went for a number of years before I finally ended up watching the whole thing.  Maybe it was due to the quality of the picture on….maybe the country background start of the movie….not sure.  I didn’t know at the time who any of the actors were except for Sang-kyung Kim.  He starred in the very first drama that I liked the wife rented.  The english name was ‘The New Human Market’ if I remember right and I would love to get my hands on that drama to watch again.

So I’m not going to lie….when I finally ended up watching the whole thing it was the nude scene with the incredibly beautiful Jeon Mi-seon that made me watch further.  Then even though there were no more scenes like that I found myself drawn into the movie.  Before I knew it.. the movie I had managed to watch the first 10 minutes of and avoiding all that time had now become one of my favorite movies of all time.  Wow how does that happen?

The movie has beautiful cinematography,  great acting and chemistry, and although it has ‘character’ in the movie like editing opps, slowness in the beginning with the story, and other things the one thing big thing it has is the ‘IT’ factor.  It has ‘IT’.  2 Great american movies were the ‘Godfather’ I and II from the early 1970’s.  Both won the oscar for best movie of the year.  Both movies had a number of edit mistakes, story continuity problems, but the movies had ‘IT’.  They were great!  And for ‘Memories of Murder’ I feel the same way.  The movie is on that level of greatness.  Also since the movie was based on the true story of this serial killer who was never caught….how do you end a movie like this?

Since I already heard of the story before finally watching the whole movie I knew the killer was never caught yet (I hope they finally do break the crime).  Do you just fade to black and give the audience some info on what happened and till this time no one has been caught?

I don’t want to give the ending away if you’re one of the few that still haven’t watched this movie but what they did with the ending of the movie was the stuff of legend in my view.  One of the biggest strengths of this movie is the musical pieces that accompany scenes.  The movie has some of the best musical arrangements of any movie I have watched period.  The ending of the movie is in my view also one of the best endings of any movie I have watched.  To take a movie and actually elevate it at the end like this movie did is pure brillance.  You can even find the ending alone on youtube if you want to see,  but it’s highly recommended to watch the movie once to see if you like it.

Give it a shot if you haven’t seen what I think is not only the best korean movie of all time but for me the best movie I’ve watched period.

ps. – really wanted to upload a video I did on this movie but it looks like you have to upgrade to be able to post videos…..arghhh I wonder how much that is?


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