HELPLESS (화차) Korean Mystery Thriller Review

Prepare yourself for a compellingly complex and layered mystery thriller that leaves you wondering who really is left Helpless.

Soon to be married Mun-ho (LEE Sun-kyun) and Seon-yeong (KIM Min-hee) are on their way to Mun-ho’s parents place when they pull over at a rest stop where Mun-ho grabs a couple of snacks for the trip. When he arrives back to the car, Seon-yeong is nowhere to be found. Her apartment has been cleaned out and all her previous workplaces don’t exist. Desperate to find out what happened, Min-ho enlists the help of his cousin, a disgraced former police detective to help find her. What they uncover is beyond what they could have prepared themselves for and paints a rather disturbing picture of this woman’s life.

Based on the long time best-selling and voted as one of the “10 Best Japanese Detective Novels of all time,” Kasha (火車) (translated into English in 1999 as All She was Worth) compelled Korean female director BYUN Young-joo to immediately get in touch with author Miyabe Miyuki to pursue the film adaptation. The result is a compelling mystery that engages from beginning to end. And it’s perhaps because Helpless is so engaging that my biggest gripe with the film is that I was unable to read any of the clues (all in Korean of course) in a feeble attempt to piece the mystery together. It’s moody and eerily silent with a build of pent up rage that makes the situation and events disturbingly plausible that it could happen to anyone.

Recommended to those who enjoy mystery-thrillers.

HELPLESS opens in limited release May 11, 2012 at select theatres:

CGV Cinemas (Los Angeles)
AMC Ridgefield (NY)
AMC Empire (NY)
AMC Showplace Niles (Chicago)
AMC Alderwood (Seatle)
Cineplex Silvercity Coquitlam (Vancouver)
AMC Yonge & Dundas (Toronto)

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About Xxxtine

The main Canuck here I (sometimes) give a different perspective. I used to be 'read only' but you can actually hear me via POP 88 on 8Asians podcasting sister site Always trying to find that right balance between fluff and substance, I tend to focus my interests in discovering different perspectives. Look forward to hearing (and perhaps seeing) things you wouldn't anywhere else. Current vice and embarrassingly obsessed with: Kpop group AFTER SCHOOL
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