Director: Hang-jun Zhang
Writer: Hang-jun Zhang
Stars: Ha-Neul Kang, Mu-Yeol Kim, Seong-kun Mun
Plot: Jin-Seok (Kang Ha-Neul) moves into a new home with his older brother Yoo-Seok (Kim Moo-Yul), mother (Na Young-Hee) and father (Moon Sung-Geun). Jin-Seok suffers from hypersensitivity, but with medication he is able to live normally. One rainy evening, Jin-Seok sees his older brother being thrown into a van by a group of men. After 19 days of silence, Yoo-Seok returns home, but he doesn’t remember anything from his disappearance. Jin-Seok though notices enough changes in his older brother’s personality and behavior that he begins to suspect that the person who has returned is not Yoo-Seok. Meanwhile, Jin-Seok keeps hearing sounds from a locked room temporarily storing the previous home owner’s belongings.
Running Time: 1 Hour 48 Minutes
IMDB Score: 7.2
Why I Watched It: Saw the trailer on Netflix and it looked very good did some reading and I was hooked on seeing it.
Random Notes: First off I got the summary from IMDB and second of all this is a Korean film and I watched it with sub-titles. I will give Netflix a lot of credit they are giving a lot of foreign films a shot at a bigger audience, foreign films aren’t just for art houses any more.
This film is going to be very tricky to review not only because the film has a big twist they have three of them and all have a lot to do with the plot, now cause this is a smaller film I don’t want anything spoiled so I will tip toe around a lot of plot. The film does not only change tone but it changes what it’s about a couple of times.
What I Liked: This is a well made and a very daring film, needless to say this is not a big budget Hollywood popcorn movie this is a very atmospheric and at times very dark film. Now I will try and not give too much away but if you’ve seen the trailers and are interested watch the film first cause it’s the best way to see it and if you think the trailers give too much away trust me it doesn’t.
I’ve long complained that many films have twists just for the sake of the twist the film wants to be clever and trick the audience and at times they feel not only cheap but they often don’t hold up Forgotten is not one of those films. The twists and just let me say the twists are huge and they don’t seem like a gimmick they seem organic to the story the first main twist changes the story and the cool thing about it is you’re not sure where the story is going and the twists while on one level are cool at the other level you’re going what, really, come again. The second twist to me is the game changer and after that we see what the story is. I will say I doubt even the most avid movie fan won’t see at least one of them coming.
The acting is very good, and the two main actors playing the brothers have some heavy lifting to do, the funny thing about the film is even though there’s a lot of characters there’s really only 4 main and out of them it really is about the two brothers and of course in this film is not the cliched family stuff. So the actors have to play many sides and they have do some very subtle acting and both are up to the task. The film is very well directed and almost all of the tech stuff is very good, the sound is great and the film looks solid.
Now for the twists, yes maybe one too many but two of them are not only gut punches but are so clever you just by them right away. I do think it helps this is a Korean film and not a Hollywood film cause they’re not playing by the same cliched rules.
What I Didn’t Like: If you pick at some of the twists enough sure they fall apart at times but I write it off as the film being a puzzle box, the fun is what’s next now I do think by the end it does get not only very heavy handed and a tad silly, at least one character but the film gets so dark it really takes the fun out of the twists, let me make one thing clear this is not a feel good film this is a dark look at life and by the end it did kind of bum me out.
Final Thoughts: I liked this film, I liked what it tried to do and it is a pretty original film and a film that uses it’s brains to create interesting and thought provoking twists, if you like thrillers or world cinema it’s well worth a look.