Sunday, April 14, 2013

Film Review: No Doubt (2010)

No Doubt (Review)
South Korean/2010
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

As a new family moves into a small village, No Choong-sik's daughter, Mi-rim, goes missing; coincidentally, the son of the Yoo family, Se-jin, has a record for child molestation. Choong-sik attempts to find evidence against Se-jin, simultaneously punishing him; the villagers want to push the entire family out; and, the police race to find the truth. No Doubt is a very bleak and depressing film, a magnificent blend of "Memories of Murder" and "Mother".

The story in this film is very dark. It offers different perspectives of a very disturbing situation. We witness a father's agonizing pain and anger towards a system he believes is flawed. We witness the impact on the family of a sexual offender as a mother attempts to protect her son and a sister is mistreated solely due to relation. We witness the police racing to find the truth, often with bias and prejudice. And, we witness "guilty until proven innocent" at full effect as Se-jin is frequently assaulted and berated for a crime that he hasn't officially been linked to. The ending of the film is surprising, and unexpected, especially for those unfamiliar with South Korean films. The film balances out all of the characters and their perspectives very well; the film has a very "full" feeling, as it uses every minute of its short runtime effectively. This chilling, all-too-real story leaves you asking many questions about society, and I really enjoy this thought-provoking feeling. There aren't many films that can move you like this nowadays.

The acting was amazing from the entire cast. Tae-woo Kim is superb as a very hurt and angry father. Jeong-jin Lee is also excellent playing a very awkward sexual offender, and has a very disturbing speech/rant during the film; he hits all of his emotions perfectly, and captures his character in a unique yet authentic manner. In fact, the entire cast was exceptional. The superb acting added to the authenticity and immersion. The music was also great throughout the film, and really matched the bleak tone.

Ultimately, No Doubt is a very sad film that may leave you emotionally drained. The haunting, realistic story, and the superb performances make this film a must-watch. A purchase is HIGHLY recommended - if you can find a copy - for fans of South Korean films and the drama/mystery genre.

Score: 9/10

Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood, some brief nudity.

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