Fantasia 2019: Idol

Idol (2019) 2h 24min | Crime, Thriller | 20 March 2019 (South Korea) Summary: The politician Koo Myung-hui finds his wife in the garage. She is cleaning her son's bloodstained car, which has just run over a person. A rainy political thriller with neo-noir elements.
Countries: South KoreaLanguages: Korean

A grieving father wants answers about the events that lead to his son’s death in Idol. Councilor Koo Myung-hui is a candidate for governor, who returns home one day to find out that his son Johan was involved in a hit and run and brought the bloody body home with him. Koo convinces his son to turn himself in, but the victim’s grieving father Joon-sik is unsatisfied with the sentence given. Beginning his own investigation, Joon-sik hopes to get answers from his son’s Chinese immigrant wife Ryeon-hwa, who has gone missing.

Idol is the sophomore directorial effort from South Korean filmmaker Lee Su-jin (Han Gong-ju), which uses a story of death and cover-up to tackle issues of immigration and class struggle. With a running time of 2h 24m and more than half a dozen central characters, I have to admit it can be difficult to put all the pieces of Idol‘s plot together, especially as the film makes more revelations about characters and events. I have no idea how the film reaches the point it ends up at, but at least Idol is a well made psychological thriller.

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Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).