Director: Yoon Jong-seok
Cast: So Ji-sub, Kim Yun-jin, Nana, Choi Kwang-il
Runtime: 1 hr 45 mins
Released By: Golden Village Pictures
Opening Day: 17 November 2022
Synopsis: The head of a promising IT company who one day becomes the sole suspect in a closed door murder case in which his girlfriend is the victim, and the defense attorney with the 100% acquittal rate who must prove him innocent - the story begins when these two people sit down together to assemble the pieces of the puzzle. The central axis on which the film CONFESSION is structured is the conversation between YOO Min-ho, who claims he is innocent, and the attorney YANG Shin-ae, who reconstructs the details of the case based on his testimony. A sharp tension arises between YOO Min-ho, who tells of the events that led him to the scene of the crime in a hotel room, and Attorney YANG, who continues to find holes in his story. In a situation where all the evidence points to him as the culprit, YOO Min-ho tries to gain control of the situation by manipulating even YANG Shin-ae, a lawyer with an unblemished record. YANG, a talented lawyer with the ability to transform guilt into innocence, makes use of YOO's psychology to create a perfect scenario that will prove his innocence, while coaxing out the truth that he refuses to reveal.
As the attorney reminds her defendant that salvation is never painless and veers him towards revealing the entirety of the situation, the already distorted truth gets twisted in unimaginable ways.
Confession opens with an interlaced narrative of the lead actor strutting scot-free as the arrest warrant is nullified and the camera clicks away unapologetically with the press swarming around him. The lawyer would then receive a call that marks the battle of the truth. And the Confession begins....
The seemingly defenceless litigant plays into every alternate scenario that the crafty lawyer creates. The plot pivots on a dynamic loosely based on snakes and ladders, where the case progresses on two steps back for every step forward.
Based on "The Invisible Guest" by Oriol Paulo, Confession is worlds apart from any stoic courtroom shenanigans that may be anticipated, given the title. But if one doesn't mind a little bit of going around in circles, then the ruthlessness of the hidden elements of Confession would absolutely make up for it. It isn’t just another movie with an intriguing plot that takes one down the rabbit hole. With meandering layers of alternate perspectives sheathing the plot, the 105-minute thriller drama becomes a nail-biting affair.
The Korean remake of the 2016 Spanish film has aced the definition of what a crime thriller has to offer on so many levels. While being perfectly punctuated with heart wrenching scenes that feel like ice-pricks launching into a fluff of duck feather pillows, the character-driven narrative renders a walking on tight rope effect, with excellent subtlety achieved by the cast members.
Award-winning director, Yoon Jong-seok, known for his meticulous directorial style, has picked the veterans of the Korean film industry and has conjured the essence of a densely- woven actioner, with dozens of pre-shoot script readings and rehearsals prior to actual filming.
Hailed as a thriller queen, Kim Yun-jin plays the competent lawyer with an unblemished record and wages a psychological warfare against So Ji-sub who becomes a murder suspect overnight. Recognised for her roles in Lost and Mistresses, the South Korean-American actress’s embodiment of a corporate cat-like demeanour is a real class act. So nails it as a first timer in a thriller genre with Yoo Min-ho being one of the trickiest character of the whole lot.
With plenty of K-pop idols transitioning from music to film, Nana aka “the barbie doll of K-pop” who is known for her role in the 2016 drama, The Good Wife, once again delivers more than expected, thus proving to be an intuitive actress with Confession. The minutest nuances are captured while every member of the stellar cast ensemble delivers a brooding air of fear and uncertainty with their on-point expressions and body language.
For cinephiles who are fatigued by the special effects, sounds and CG creatures of recent blockbusters, you may seek delight in this high-octane thriller which is an offering of muted jump scares paired with a steady build-up of slow poison.
Along with a depressing colour palette reflecting the mood of the mind-boggling storyline that is perfectly textured with plot twists and icy landscapes featuring snow-capped mountains and frozen lakes, this gripping psychological thriller number is well-deserving of bagging awards and accolades in the nearest future.
(A diabolically brilliant, unmitigated, edge-of-your-seat revenge thriller served with a cocktail of twists, high-stakes conflict, tension and suspense)
Review by Asha Gizelle Mariadas