It is a familiar feeling you may or may not have experienced before. Perhaps you have heard of it, read of it, or maybe it is quite archetypal and common. Fact of the matter is that it delivers the sort of intrigue that glues oneself into that storyline. A plot that thickens and thins out before you notice everything has to end unorthodoxly. Then shortly after feeling as though everything was an awesome mess, you slowly realize this faux pas was anything but a fluke. A good fluke at that.
Sure it entertained me, kept me wanting for what is next in store, but the entire thing fell short in creating that chaotic vibrancy common amongst these types of bittersweet screenplays. That emphatic feeling that was supposed to be there was almost nonexistent, and if present was lacklustre. That 'woe is her' feeling then became another 'oh it's her' and I certainly doubt either part or the crew intended for that to happen for what was to become mishaps of wasted potential. The premise of the mystery was lost beneath all the melodrama of typical mother-to-son dilemma. The whole point of the movie became lost in the never-ending carousel of redundancy and slight clumsiness.
Reminiscent of previous Korean movies I watched (Oldboy, Bad Guy, Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance, Sympathy For Lady Vengeance), the main characters are of the fragile sort. The kind of which that are prone to controversy and borderline mentally disabled. It is becoming rather clichéd and washed out, leaving a sour taste in any, if not all, eyes that feed and witnessed this feature. Although I should give credit to the one portraying the mother. Her performance was in a different level outshone by her cringe-worthy colleagues. The essence of her character would have deviated away from all the bad things about the movie if not for the excess of drama and the powerlessness to do even the simplest of things: common sense.
Personally I liked the whole idea and intention. The execution was what failed me the most, quite frankly. The minute-by-minute scenarios were almost flawless. The setting was unremarkable. How they solved the mystery garners a B+ to me for having been unorthodox and slightly fresh. The showcasing of the relationship between mother and son was sufficiently delivered, shelling out the basics of their personalities but it stopped at that and there was no dynamic that followed soonafter. It ended where it began.
The ends do not justify the means is what perfectly captures the film's summary, and it is something used quite frequently on these kinds of mystery dramas so it is not at all new and creative. The first and last part was what is, to me, the moment of elation when ultimately the seemingly naive but not naive main character spirals into a freefall within one's own self.