Along with Fincher's Zodiac, Bong Joon-ho's intensely euphoric and eclectic Memories of Murder is the most striking murder mystery put to film in the current century. I don't think I've ever seen such a fine tuned balance of varying tones inside a film of this kind. The writing shifts effortlessly between thrilling intensity, quiet tension building and some genuinely funny and endearing character interactions.
Sketchy characters featured within a sketchy story didn't start off promising. But as soon as it rediscovered classical crime-drama motifs and topics, unpretentiously pairing them with a unique sense of humor and commendable film photography, the whole thing gets an interesting neo-noir makeover. Somewhere between little red riding hood and Se7en, the film possesses a surprising authenticity.
Redneck jokes and slapstick violence combined with the seriousness of a serial killer drama. I’m still wondering how well did it work (although the high rating indicates that I’m rather alone thinking about it). But I did laugh at the outrageousness of the characters (mostly rather unpleasant), was shocked for a few times and if not moved then at least captivated by the ending.
Bong Joon-Ho is a masterful director. He knows how to navigate through different emotions and moods in a way that always surprises and entices the viewer. There's the sadness. And the pathetic. There's the funny and the bizarre. In this 'Zodiac' of his, truth is like an impossible beacon that always moves away. He is an elegant but also emotional master.
A perfect thriller of epic scale. The mise-en-scène is absolutely brilliant; the pacing and acting are superb. Only after watching three times I get a grasp of how multilayered this film is - in the way it deals with politics, gender issues, authoritarianism and, obviously, filmmaking.
Detective park's stare into the past and its lack of resolution is as striking as Bong Joon-ho's craft. His decision to keep most of his shots long, fluid and assembled, allowed his characters to develope a much more organic and natural dinamic. There's a little bit of out-of-place humor though.