Normal people in extraordinary circumstances; those are the movies that I find the most intriguing and interesting to watch. Then again, having a blind protagonist is more than just ‘normal’ really since it makes for a bit more thrills and mystery.
The actual premise is rather simple as it’s about a hit-and-run. However, the story gets a bit more intense when you have a serial killer who did the hit-and-running.
The narrative is done nicely as character building is done to come full circle in the film and doesn’t feel like a cop-out way to make you connect with the main lead. The pacing is interesting as well. This has most of what you expect from your typical Korean thriller though the pacing and atmosphere did surprise me. It starts with a simple procedural in terms of hunting down the hit-and-run guy and things escalate and does it escalate. It is during this escalation that it reminds you it is a Korean film and the brutality of their genre is intense. Also this is more so of a how will it end rather than a what is going on film. From the get-go we know who is the killer and the movie is more about how will the killer get to our protagonist. I really enjoy this kind of narrative as it makes it much more thrilling and it makes the writing much strong compare to a film where the audiences and the characters figure who the killer is (when the narrative is like that, I feel the potential of cop-out discovery much higher and much more disappointing).
Character motivations are very strong here. You have both the reluctant officer and the youngster who does not want to be involved in this who changes their thinking when something happens to them on separate occasions. It is this authentic change that you actually care for what happens to these characters. The officer is somewhat your typical animated and humours cop and the youngster is your reluctant and misunderstood teen. I really found myself enjoying their screen-time with the lead as I feel both of them has chemistry with her. It is here that is the crux because when things escalate, you do care. It would have been disastrous if the escalation happen and the risk starting to rise and the audiences didn’t care for these characters.
I would say the weakest would be the killer’s justification and motivation for leaving a trial of carnage in his wake but then again, anything is possible when you have a deranged psychopath on the loose. So it was more so of an acceptance issue that these things were happening rather than an issue of believing if this can happen or not. It’s not really an issue.
All in all, I enjoyed this. From the beginning, it was a tad bit slower but as things started to roll it was enjoyable and I was invested to see how this would end.
Tidbit: I actually found out about this film when I saw that the Chinese remake is playing in theatres. Interestingly enough, the same director directs both so I thought I’ll watch the Korean version first to gauge if I would be interested even in the Chinese remake. I am totally interested as to how the director will change up things with a totally different production.