Has a lot in common with Zodiac – investigations into a never-solved serial murder case, which gradually wears upon the investigator until he’s acting more like a suspect than a detective.
Our main local detective is played by Kang-ho Song, star of The Host and Thirst. His local partner is Roe-ha Kim (A Bittersweet Life). They’re joined by a city detective from Seoul, Sang-kyung Kim (Hahaha, Tale of Cinema), don’t even hide their witness-bullying and evidence-planting from him, and eventually they pull him down to their level.
It’s a period piece, set in the 1980’s, punctuated by air raid drills (in case of attack from North Korea) and footage of demonstrations throughout the country. Very well-made movie, if super-depressing by the end.
Finally and without fanfare, though, it becomes impossible not to see these impotent and crushingly overwhelmed public servants as victims of a kind. The image of these hapless men, who belong to a postwar generation born in the grip of authoritarianism, standing helplessly by as one after another woman brutally dies has a blunt-force power that needs no explanation.