Memories of Murder (Salinui chueok) [2003]

“Fuck, I don’t know.”

Director : Joon-ho Bong

Writer : Joon-ho Bong, Kwang-rim Kim, Sung Bo Shim

Cast : Kang-ho Song, Sang-kyung Kim, Roe-ha Kim, Jae-ho Song, Hie-bong Byeon

Story : 1986, South Korea, province of Gyunggi: a beautiful young women is found raped, tortured and murdered.  Detective Park Doo-Man and Detective Cho Yong-koo are your typical rural investigators, not much technique but a lot of kicking. Then Detective Seo Tae-Yoon is called in from Seul to help them with the investigation.

What I Liked :

– the thing I loved the most about the movie is that through watching it I felt like I was reading a great crime novel, it is really amazing when a movie can create the same sentiments as a book

– shows everyday life moments that make you laugh out, that leave a bitter taste, that make your heart cringe, feeling of hope, frustration, anger, hate, it really has everything

– the bonding: so it’s pretty logical that the local cops and the new detective hate each other, the scene where they started bonding is more than great, they are chasing together a suspect, I loved the camera work in that scene, the focus on our heroes faces, you felt how they were connecting without a word being uttered or anything.

– the bonding, when they all chase together one man,  the camera focuses  on their faces separately, it’s beautifully executed  and you really felt how they connected without it being shoved down your throat, and they started working together after that, without even realizing it, so there is no big scene where they conciliate or anything, it all happens naturally.

– there is one more scene that took my breath, when a suspect runs after his father, I’m trying not to spoil anything, but be on the lookout for this scene

– scenes where the killer was hunting, but I could keep on listing scenes that were amazing because this movie is more than well crafted, and I think it’s safe to say this director is a genius he will be remembered like one

– still I have to talk about the ending, great acting, when he looks in the camera is just a priceless moment. and the whole resolution or irresolution that it gives, just makes the movie experience climb to another level, another understanding

What I Didn’t Like :

– too much focus on the rivalry, one thing I always hate in movies, when the lead male actors have a fight, it’s in every movie, yes of course it’s a needed scene many times but still I hate it

Final Note :

4 out of 4

Interesting Facts :

Despite the film being based on a series of real murders in the Korean provincial town of Hwaeseong during the 1980s, Joon-ho Bong also drew a lot inspiration from a play called ‘Come See Me’ which dramatized the incidents, to the extent that he stated in an interview: “If it weren’t for KIM Gwang-rim’s play [Come See Me], I would have had a lot of problems establishing the structure.” While he also gained the idea for the depiction of the era from the graphic novel ‘From Hell’ by the writer Alan Moore, which was given to Bong by the journalist Tony Rayns as a gift. (imdb)

Online :


2 thoughts on “Memories of Murder (Salinui chueok) [2003]

  1. This is a great film that should be more widely known. The acting is truly electric and the ending is really moving (apparently the real life serial killer was never caught so that look carries a lot of weight).

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