The Classified File

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38%

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User Ratings: 11

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Movie Info

A detective and a fortune teller join forces to find a kidnapped child.

Cast & Crew

Hae-jin Yoo
Joong-san
Changju Kim
Film Editor

Critic Reviews for The Classified File (Geukbisusa)

There are no critic reviews yet for The Classified File (Geukbisusa). Keep checking Rotten Tomatoes for updates!

Audience Reviews for The Classified File (Geukbisusa)

  • Nov 08, 2018
    Somehow, I'm just not looking forward to writing this review for one reason or another. I can't quite put my finger as to why that is, but I just don't want to write this review. I feel like it's been forever since I've seen a South Korean movie, yet it's only been something like two months (The Prison). With the popularity of streaming services (of which I subscribe to two) and the fact that I watch, more often than not, something different every night, it makes the time that has passed between movies feel considerably longer than it most likely is. It has been something like 54 days in between the Prison and this movie so that's 53 movies I've seen in the interim, not counting this one of course (which would be the 54th) and, once again, it feels much more time has passed. I suppose that's neither here nor there as it relates to this movie. Let's move on, shall we? While this movie is inspired by a real-life case where a cop and a guru/fortuneteller team up to investigate this case of a kidnapped girl, and subsequently help bring her home, in a lot of instances, this movie reminds me VERY much of Kurosawa's High And Low, which is an excellent movie. Rich businessmen having their children kidnapped in movies is nothing new. In fact, you could say it's a trope, but there's something about how this movie handles its interactions with the kidnapper and the investigation itself. There comes a moment in the movie when the Jungbu investigative crew team up with the Seoul investigative crew and the room they share, which is like some sort of warehouse, where they conduct their investigation and plot their plan of action in dealing with the kidnapper looks exactly like the room the investigators used for the same purpose in High and Low. Ultimately, in my opinion, the comparison between both movies, obviously, ends up not being favorable to this movie. That's not to suggest that this movie is bad. Because it can actually be quite good at times. I do like the the more tense moments like everything prior to the kidnapper actually contacting them and the desperation the parents feel when, in particular the mother, visits all of these physics, gurus and shaman, all of whom tell her her daughter is dead. I even like the movie after both the Jungbu and Seoul crews team up and, after Eun-joo's aunt, who's going in place of Eun-joo's mother, who has taken ill, goes to the meeting place. I think this is the best part of the movie because the Jungbu crew actively sabotage the tailing of the aunt so they can be the ones who catch the kidnapper, bring the little girl home to safely and get all the glory. I find that this is a stupid thing to do, if you really think about it. These people sabotaged an active investigation, in a life or death situation, to get the glory themselves. I'm not saying that there isn't gonna be some resentment between the Jungbu and Seoul crews, but for one of them to actively sabotage the investigation feels like it's pushing it too much. Regardless, however, I feel that it leads to a tense chase sequence with Gong, the main cop in the movie, fighting against the clock in order to get to the meeting place in order if he can find spot the kidnapper. This works really well, even with the stupidity of the sabotage itself aside. Perhaps, though, one of the problems that I have with this is that I don't feel that the movie can keep up its own taut atmosphere. The movie works best when it's a race against time, because you don't know if this little girl is alive or dead, but the movie doesn't really sustain that atmosphere throughout its entirety. And, if I'm being honest, I find that character of the guru, Kim, who's played by Yoo Hae-jin (one of my favorite South Korean character actors), isn't as big a part of the movie as you would imagine. I mean, essentially, he does help out with the visions he sees and, eventually, his help is what guides Gong to find the kidnapper and, later, Eun-joo. But, at the same time, I feel that he's not in the movie as much as he absolutely should be. Maybe this is just the fact that I do love Yoo Hae-jin, but I feel that he should have been a more prominent presence in the movie and his relationship with Gong should have been explored more in-depth. Particularly given how the movie ends, with Gong and Kim's family becoming close friends. I feel like this could be a really satisfying conclusion, given the fact that the movie, surprisingly for a South Korean thriller, ends with everyone happy, safe and sound. There are deaths in the movie. At least that you see on-screen, some previous crimes are alluded to in trying to figure out who might be a suspect. And, for my money, I actually appreciate the positive conclusion to this narrative, given the fact that it, very easily, could have been exploited for melodrama if it came to be that the girl was killed early on. But no, she was kidnapped and the kidnapper actually did a good enough job of taking care of the girl. Not that that justifies what he did, but at least she was well-taken care of in the time she was with the kidnapper. So, in short, the movie plays out far more positively than I would have ever expected and I really appreciate that. But I just feel that the fact the movie tried to force this friendship between Gong and Kim that, honestly, was not earned. I like both actors, so I felt that the movie should have focused more on their interactions. Obviously, I don't mean to distract from the kidnapping investigation itself and all their conversations should have been geared towards that. That's another thing, Gong and Kim, essentially, let the Jungbu crew take credit for helping find the kidnapper and Eun-joo, despite them being a toxic presence during the investigation itself. And that's something that the movie plays with, only slightly since this is shortly before it ends, but I think it doesn't matter who takes the credit. Good people are only satisfied with the result that this little girl is finally home, safe and sound, with her parents. That is all that should matter. Regardless, with all of that said, part of me wants to give this movie a good rating, but I don't feel that it ever reaches that level. I don't think they manage to maintain the taut pace of some of the best moments of the movie and the interactions between Gong and Kim are minimal when considering they try to push the two as friends later on in the movie. It's still a solid movie, but it falls somewhere between 2.5 and 3 stars. Don't feel comfortable giving this 3, so 2.5 is gonna have to do. The real score would be closer to 2.75. Solid movie in parts, but its flaws keep it from being truly good.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer

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