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[20 Korean Films to Look Out for Second Half of 2011] "The Client"

2011/07/09 | 690 views | Permalink | Source

Korea's First-Ever Court Jury Drama

"The Client"

Directed by Sohn Young-sung

By NA Won-jung

A woman is missing. It turns out it was a murder, not a missing case. There's only one key suspect, her husband HAN Chulmin (Jang Hyuk) who had the motive and the circumstance to kill her and abandon the body somewhere. He was once a prime suspect on another murder case as well. AHN Min-ho (Park Hee-soon) is a prosecutor in charge of this case and he is sure Chul-min is guilty, yet he has no proof. Just as Minho aggressively pursues Chul-min as the murderer, a defense attorney by the name of KANG Sung-hee (Ha Jung-woo) appears out of nowhere and defends Chul-min when all the evidences are pointing him guilty. A young and highly motivated attorney, Sung-hee senses his client maybe a victim of a fixed investigation by police and prosecution.

A trial by jury system in Korea first started in 2008 with the enforcement of 'public participating trial system'. The Client is the first full-scale courtroom drama to introduce the juror since that time. The key character in this film is Sung-hee, the defense attorney, who has A Battle of Wits in between the client he can't figure out and a prosecutor who seems to be hiding something under his sleeves, all in the process of approaching the truth behind the case. After the chaos of various entangled situations pass by, Sung-hee finally discloses astonishing truth in front of the jury with his captivating closing argument.

The crucial point of this film lies on the process of countless 'witnesses testimonies' heading towards one single explosive truth in the end. Direction is by Sohn Young-sung, who was responsible for "The Pit and The Pendulum" (2008), a feature debut that made world premiere at Busan International Film Festival and received critical attention He has shown the outstanding ability to recreate a complicated, labyrinth-like past based on a collection multiple characters' different memories. Impressive casting displays dynamic showdown of brilliant performances during the courtroom scene that covers almost half of the movie.

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