Investigative thriller movie with plot twists at unexpected places. Wonderful realistic acting by all characters… A must watch if you are into thrillers with good plot twists.

“The Client” provided exactly that, with its gripping courtroom drama an intriguingly dark look at both workplace politics and marital grievances. its a suspense-thriller that is unlikely to offer any clear originality, but succeeds in executing its compelling whodunit premise nimbly.

Furthermore, although the main characters are seldom developed in terms of emotional tact, the growth in their responsibility as the trial evolves from a clear-cut murder to something shrouded in mystery and persuasion is enthralling, and a further succinct element which Sohn includes in his sophomore effort. Particularly, Kang Sung-hee’s realisation that his spite and drive to succeed may have actually resulted in an incorrect verdict is genuinely surprising, and stands out as a moment in which the character’s hubris is chipped away at unequivocally. Similarly, his rash interrogation of his former client shines as an attempt of ham-fisted catharsis, breaking down the protagonist into someone who realises that some wrongs simply cannot be corrected.

Technically, “The Client” is rather basic, with cinematographer Choi Sang-ho mostly doing a decent job with colourising landscapes and giving a tangible eeriness to the crime scene, but avoiding risk-taking when in the courtroom, sticking to expression-filled close-ups of the film’s leads to help tell an emotional story. With that being said, the dream sequence of the crime’s occurrence is phenomenally jarring, and shows off Choi’s prowess in telling a harsh, brutal tale whilst only revealing small parts of it to the eye adeptly.

Keeps you engaged and makes you to keep guessing

On his wedding anniversary, Han Chul-min (Jang Hyuk) drives into his apartment complex parking lot and sees a large crowd gathered by the entryway into his apartment. He enters holding a bouquet of flowers for his wife, instead he finds police officers scattered about collecting evidence. In his bedroom there is a large pool of blood dripping onto the floor from the bed, and his wife is nowhere to be seen. Han is then handcuffed, arrested and taken into police custody for her murder.

Prosecutor Ahn Min-ho (Park Hee-soon) takes charge of prosecuting the Han murder case. He has little doubt in the guilt of Chul-min. Confirming his suspicions that Han was arrested as the prime suspect in a serial murder case, but later released on insufficient evidence.

Jang Ho-won (Sung Dong-il), an investigator, brings the case of Han to defense lawyer Kang Sung-hee (Ha Jung-woo). He informs Kang that the alleged murder victim’s body was never discovered, the police have yet to find any direct evidence connecting Han to the murder of his wife and his arrest is based on circumstantial evidence. Han, who works at a film laboratory, has no fingerprints as they are erased from the strong chemicals he handles every day. Convinced that Han is not guilty, Kang takes the case and applies in court for a jury trial and goes through a series of legal clashes against rival prosecutor Ahn. The case gets even more complex as details about the mysterious life of Han’s wife are unveiled.

A thriller into something filled with gravitas and relevance

Jang Hyuk – Han Cheol-min (The client)
Park Hee-soon – Ahn Min-ho (Rival prosecutor)
Ha Jung-woo – Kang Sung-hee (lawyer)
Sung Dong-il – Jang Ho-won (Kang’s investigator)

Movie Information

Director: Sohn Young-Sung
Assistant Director: Lee Keun-Woo
Writer: Lee Choon-Hyung, Sohn Young-Sung
Producer: Kim Jo Kwang-Soo, Shin Chang-Kil
Cinematographer: Choi Sang-Ho
Release Date: September 29, 2011
Runtime: 123 min.
Genre: Drama / Suspense-Thriller / Law
Distributor: Showbox
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Peter Ahn

Peter Ahn

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