Sunday, February 10, 2008

[DVD] Murder, Take One (Baksu-Chiltae Deonara) (2005)

Tough Nut to Crack

The movie opens with a very stunning tracking shot with a view of a motionless woman's body, from the feet, before slowly revealing that she's lying in a pool of blood, juxtaposed with the linear motion of time where investigators flood the crime scene in her hotel room, before pulling further backwards to become the eye in the sky, where you can see the neighbours of her room (some bickering, some having sex) truly oblivious with what's going on a few doors down, and panning outwards to the facade of the hotel, then descending rapidly to the porch area where more cops congregate, and it's revealed that a prime suspect has been arrested.

Unveiling in 48 hours, we follow the investigators, led by prosecutor Yeon-ki (Cha Seung-won) as they try to break down Kim Young-hoon (Shin Ha-gyoun), in what I thought was an extended interrogation system which somehow tested your patience with the cat-and-mouse styled challenges each side throw to the other in a series of dares and defiances. Thankfully, the plot does move on to other more conventional aspects of investigations, as always, everything is more than meets the eye, and no stone should be left unturned.

What's also peculiar in the movie is the combination of a current affairs television show which interferes in the investigations, and audaciously tries to swing its outcome via its own panel of experts, piecing together of clues, and having an audience participation, which of course is used to boost ratings, but to the irk of Yeon-ki. There are plenty of stuff which unfortunately becomes loss in translation, and most of them are the comedic aspects from the dialogue. What was supposed to be some comedy mixed in, becomes a fairly serious investigative mystery movie when you're reliant on the subtitles.

As with the standard investigative drama fare, there are moments which shine as the investigators manage to shed new light and clues, though it somehow went downhill with the introduction of some mediums - don't laugh though, because I do think there's a certain amount of mysticism at times when the authorities get flabbergasted - some help from the other side won't hurt at all right? Especially so when you call on the right person to reappear.

In any case, there are enough twists and turns, and at one point my hair did stand on its end in a chilling scene, but ultimately, what was supposed to be a stunner of a revelation, turned out to be quite anti-climatic. There are some nice observations made about investigations though, pertaining to CCTVs, so if you're interested, you can probably watch this to find out what those challenges are.

Code 3 DVD by Universe Laser & Video is presented in anamorphic widescreen with a decent visual transfer without any noticeable blemishes. Audio is available in the original Korean track in Dolby Digital 5.1, or a Cantonese dubbed track in Dolby Digital Stereo. Subtitles are available in English, Traditional or Simplified Chinese, and scene selection is over 8 chapters (which is relatively few for a close to 120 minute movie).

The one disc edition comes with some extras, which include 12 stills in a Photo Gallery, a Stars' Files which is a text based section on the filmography of actors Cha Seung-won, Shin Ha-gyoun and director Jang Jin. There's a Making Of which is subtitled in English, which is relatively little on the interviews area, and seemed to have stuffed its 22:30 runtime with plenty of on set happenings. Of course there are spoilers, so steer clear until after you've viewed the movie unless you want your surprises to be ruined. Lastly, there's a curious feature called the Highlight which seems to summarize the movie in less than 10 minutes, showing only some of the best bits in the movie, hence the name used for this section.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...