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Miss Conspirator - Movie Poster
Original Title:
Mi-sseu GO

South Korea 2012

Comedy, Crime

Park Cheol-kwan

Ko Hyeon-jeong
Yoo Hae-jin
Seong Dong-il
Lee Moon-sik
Park Shin-yang
Ko Chang-seok
Kim Byeong-cheol
Jo Seok-hyeon
Ha Jae-sook
Kim Won-sik

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Miss Conspirator

Story: Cheon Soo-ro (Ko Hyeon-jeong) suffers from panic attacks and is one step away from a mental breakdown when her sister is about to leave her for a few years. She confides in a nun who she accidentally runs into, but the nun in fact works for a gangster organisation. She asks Soo-ro to hand over a package to her alleged former love. When Soo-ro arrives at the hotel room of the man she finds his dead body, though. Shortly after that Red Shoes (Yoo Hae-jin) enters the hotel room. Soo-ro manages to hide and even has to sneak past another gangster group when she leaves the hotel. Apparently, Soo-ro is carrying an important package, because she is apprehended by the police and interrogated by detective Seong (Seong Dong-il). It turns out that Soo-ro is absolutely in the dark about what's happening, but the gangsters are planning to kill her in order to get their hands on the package. An undercover cop is assigned to her for her protection by Seong and that individual turns out to be none other than Red Shoes. While the two rivaling gangster groups are looking for the woman, Soo-ro starts to question whether her protector is really who he purports to be.

Review: "Miss Conspirator" may look like a pleasantly entertaining comedy, and to a certain degree it actually is, but it doesn't take long for us to realize the movie's flaws. For instance, there is a screenplay that is pretty much without orientation and additionally there is also a great amount of characters who are fleshed out little to none. Fortunately, the movie isn't as wacky and slapstick-heavy as the title or the poster might suggest, yet often enough the comedy doesn't manage to hit the mark with its punch lines. However, those who think that they will get the mandatory romantic story is in the wrong, although the attempt to implement one is actually there. It's just that there is no chemistry between the two protagonists and it even should be questioned whether or not creating one was intended. But if that's not it, what is the intention behind "Miss Conspirator"?

Miss Conspirator - Film Screenshot 11

Well, it might be a little bit too much to ask for some sort of intention behind such a movie, apart from keeping the viewer entertained in the most shallow way possible. Yet, considering the mix of different genres, the question what kind of movie this is supposed to be in the end isn't that bad. Maybe the fact that this flick initially was supposed to be shot by Jung Bum-Sik, featuring Choi Min-sik in one of the gangster roles, gives a small hint what this movie could have become. Surely the gangster aspect would have been more elaborate. The way it is the gangster movie mood is sometimes breaking through, but you are never really sure where in the movie it is supposed to be located. Thus, the movie remains a comedy in its core, which occasionaly strays into the gangster genre.

Miss Conspirator - Film Screenshot 12

Especially towards the end there are a few twists that are unusual for a comedy, though. The different individuals, apart from the female protagonist, seem to be taken right out of a nihilistic gangster flick. Everyone is somehow one of the bad guys and at some point you don't even know who to root for anymore. Therefore, the movie is certainly written around Ko Hyeon-jeong ("Like You Know it All", "Woman on the Beach"), who, playing the shy and mentally ill protagonist, has the most likeable character traits after all. Her transformation isn't completely over-the-top either, but working in a justifiable framework. That much can't be said about the other individuals, however. Yoo Hae-jin ("Desire to Kill", "The Flu") plays an odd character you don't really know what to think of as the film progresses.

You should probably be thankful that you aren't fed the usual romantic story in this comedy, but the romantic relationship delivered is everything but sophisticated. While at first it seems as if there is supposed to be established some sort of chemistry between Soo-ro and Gan-goo this changes particularly strong towards the end. At the same time you also don't get much humor anymore, which in general sadly misses as often as it hits the mark. There may be a few nice twists, but eventually things head into a predictable direction. Yet, the movie's tone becomes surprisingly serious and then tries to make a u-turn during the credits. But you can't really say that the movie's tone suddenly becomes conflictive at some point. It's more like as if there were a constant dissonance.

Miss Conspirator - Film Screenshot 13

Still, this doesn't mean that "Miss Conspirator" isn't entertaining in its own little framework. The mood is jolly, at least the female protagonist is captivating most of the time and to our surprise there are even one or two nice brawls to be found. Next to that there are also a few supporting characters that manage to deliver some shallow entertainment. All of this makes for a construct that is hardly original, but should work out for most viewers. Nevertheless, you ultimately need to ask yourself if there isn't a way to spend those nearly two hours more meaningful. Because the movie won't stick with you long anyway. For those who are desperately looking for a comedy with some gangster elements "Miss Conspirator" may thus serve as some evening filler, but everyone else should look for something better.

(Author: Manfred Selzer)
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