Confession – Locked Door Mystery Movie, The Korean Way

Locked door mysteries best made by or styled like the Brits for example Knives Out or Gosford Park or Murder on The Orient Express. Loved them all. No wonder given the reigning queen is Agatha Christie also a Brit. When I decided (or to be precise dragged to) watch Confession, I did not know it’s of locked door mystery genre. I thought it is typical Chaebol thriller action with So Ji Sub (which I and my besties adore very much) as male lead.Apparently it is a locked door mystery genre – the Korean way. Boy, I was thrilled !

The story is adapted from Spain, originally called Contratiempo or The Invisible Guest. The story is about Yo Min-hoo who is CEO of well known IT company with wife with chaebol background. He is accused of murdering his mistress in a locked room, Se-hee, who work in the same company as his wife. Yo Min-hoo lawyer was working to help defend Min-hoo in this situation and working to acquire service of another criminal lawyer who is supposedly undefeated. There are at least 3-4 layers of intrigue and lenses for the same situation, making the movie really complicated and nerve wracking to watch.

So Ji Sub played the male lead as Yoo Min-ho and Nana played Kim Se-Hee as one of the female lead along with Yunjin Kim who played Yang Shin-ae dan Choi Guang-il, veteran actress and actor who played the suporting cast. This is a movie that marked the return of So Ji Sub after long sabbatical post his marriage (then followed with Doctor Lawyer and Alienoid among others). 

Whodunit movie like this nearly exclusively carried by the strength of the actors and actresses with minimal stage and props, therefore can only work when the strength of the acting sufficient otherwise backfires in a big way for the actors and the actresses. Action or romcom are always the safer bet for 1st one after long hiatus, but apparently So Ji Sub likes to take a big risk. Given the complexity of the movie storyline, So Ji Sub acted quite well to carry the moview although Yunjim Kim acting also shine through and Nana as relatively young actress also delivered best agaisnt her line.

The acting needs to be collectively nearly methodical to deliver decently and the actors and actresses collectively delivered nearly methodical acting and collaborate beautifully. There are gaps but the music and setting breathtakingly beautiful covering some of these gaps.

Many reviews pointed out the weakness of the movie is particularly the ending, but some of the detail has been made obvious long before the ending that some part of the ending can be very obvious. Yet in my mind it is not so much that the ending is predictable or rushed, but the acting delivered through the ending both Yunjim Kim as well as So Ji Sub, deserve to be recognized as solid acting. Even as the ending predictable, the acting to the ending in some scene is hair risingly good.

As someone who thoroughly enjoy locked door mystery books and movies, I have to say that while the movie is a bit too convoluted, the story is beautifully made for non-English variety especially those who love cerebral movies genre. I enjoy the movie and thought this is one of the underrated hidden gem that while enjoyable thoroughly, people often miss it. Too bad.

Verdict : Must Watch.

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