AsianMovieWeb logo
Confession - Movie Poster
Original Title:
Joh-eun chin-goo-deul

South Korea 2014

Drama, Thriller

Lee Do-yoon

Ji Seong
Joo Ji-hoon
Lee Gwang-soo
Choi Jin-ho
Lee Hwi-hyang
Ki Gook-seo
Jeong Ji-yoon
Jang Hee-jin

Search AsianMovieWeb


aka Good Friends

Story: Hyun-tae (Ji Seong) has no contact to his family anymore, since his mother runs an illegal gambling den and because she doesn't approve of him having married a deaf-mute. In-cheol (Joo Ji-hoon) and Min-soo (Lee Gwang-soo) are Hyun-tae's best friends. Min-soo takes each day as it comes and indulges in drinking, while In-cheol has a lot of fun treating Min-soo as his punching-bag. He works for an insurance company and is involved in some cases of insurance fraud himself, which is why he has clashed with investigator Lee Soo (Choi Jin-ho) several times already. In-cheol, Min-soo and Hyun-tae go through thick and thin since they almost died at a mountain during their time in middle school. One day Hyun-tae's mother agrees to sign an insurance contract with In-cheol. At the same time she wants to do a big insurance scam with his help. In-cheol gets Min-soo on board, but during the fake burglary at the gambling den something goes terribly wrong. The two friends, having caused a fatal accident, are plagued by their guilty conscience every day...

Review: "Confession" proves how much good directing and a gripping atmosphere can add to the success of a drama/thriller. A movie that peeks into the minds of its three main characters and depicts how an accident can throw a friendship into a spiral of destruction. The sort of realism that constantly accompanies the events unfolding makes it difficult for the viewer to judge someone. There is no true villain and so you are forced to deal with topics like guilt and friendship in a complex manner. That this makes "Confession" a drama most of the time shouldn't come as a surprise, but because of its dark mood those who are fond of watching tearjerkers are probably the wrong target audience here. This movie is more like a well achieved glance at a friendship falling to pieces, exactly because of this friendship having deep sitting roots.

Confession - Film Screenshot 11

Even though the plot may be composed of chance happenings, if you accept them you will find out that actually no one is really to blame for the unfortunate happenings or everyone involved is guilty to the same degree. It's also guilt that forces the two friends to look into an abyss of which there is apparently no escape. To face Hyun-tae is equally painful for both friends, but they deal differently with it. Here the film scores with its character-driven approach to the story. The thriller remains captivating at all times, because the behavior of the individuals is always realistically depicted and you constantly wonder how they are about to deal with their feelings of guilt. "Confession" differs from a true thriller, though, as no one seems to be willing to sell his own grandmother here.

Confession - Film Screenshot 12

The actors deserve some special praise. With his rather calm and reasonable acting Ji Seong ("Blood Rain") may act only on an average level, but Lee Gwang-soo ("All About My Wife") stands out with a very convincing portrayal of a man who slowly gets crushed by guilt. Even more complex is In-cheol's character. He may be commiting insurance frauds, but he is no badass criminal without a conscience. Joo Ji-hoon ("Antique") manages to depict the different facets of his character very well. That In-cheol is permanently making fun of his friend and doesn't take sticking to the law very serious, doesn't make him an evil person per se, yet the screenplay naturally wants to make us wonder how far he is ultimately willing to go.

With all the faces which seem to be taken right out of several drama shows you have to be surprised how dark the movie is after all. But this also gives the more dramatic moments some special weight. Next to the good acting achievements it's also thanks to the directing that some scenes have quite an intense impact. In his debut work director Lee Do-yoon surprises with some pretty extraordinary, but effective camera angles and composes his pictures visually very convincingly. Moreover, he manages to constantly implement a few developments into the story, which help the pacing to never drop. Not only because of that you get the feeling to watch a thriller, although retrospectively you would tend to label "Confession" to be more of a drama. It's also the dark mood that is responsible for this.

Confession - Film Screenshot 13

The movie wins over with its unique appeal as its characters who, as things progress, show more and more layers of their personalities. It's also quite impressive that you can always emotionally bond with the individuals. Normally, thrillers of this kind struggle with no one serving as a sort of hero. The film's ending probably may seem a bit artificial to some degree, but the directing, the actors and the dark atmosphere play into the movie's hands to such a degree that you can easily overlook that fact. Especially since some scenes can truely move to tears. Thus, "Confession" is an unusual drama/thriller hybrid that is proof of director Lee Do-yoon's talent. You should keep your eyes open for more works of Lee in the future.

(Author: Manfred Selzer)
Buy this movie:

Confession - Yesasia Yesasia Logo