Confession (2020) Eye for Film Film Review
“It’s much easier for me to defend you if I know the truth,” said the lawyer (Kim Yunjin).
At this point, the big drama is over. The clamor of the press, the trial itself – and, of course, the murder. Yoo Min-ho (So Ji-seob), declared innocent but still under suspicion, has retreated to the family cabin high in the mountains where he can escape all attention. This is where he used to spend illicit hours with deceased wife Kim Se-hee (Im Jin-ah), and now serves as his sanctuary as he tries to come to terms with the fact that new evidence has emerged and he could be prosecuted again.
He doesn’t know what the new evidence is. That’s part of why the lawyer is there. “I’m innocent,” he protests when she asks him what really happened, but she insists that no one is ever completely innocent and that if events didn’t go as claims the prosecution, she wants to know how they went. did unfold. What led to him waking up in a hotel room with Jin-ha, whom he claims to have broken up with months earlier, lying dead on the bathroom floor and the police knocking at the door ? If his claim that someone else was involved is true, how did that person get out of the room, given that it was locked from the inside? Something is wrong, and she suggests it might be because he’s hiding something else. Maybe it’s related to the disappearance of a young man a few years ago.
Confession is a remake of the Spanish film The Invisible Guest, but director Yoon Jong-seok makes it his own. The rock-capped mountains and craggy vineyards of the Basque country are replaced by pine-clad peaks and glistening icy lakes, making it feel so dramatic that although much of the action takes place in a single room (while referencing events in another) a sense of this landscape, and the isolation to convey, is still present. There’s almost an air of Scandinoir to the result, a well-crafted thriller with characters who seem full of warmth, though, as we’ll learn, some of them have done terrible things in cold blood.
Exactly who did what takes its time to emerge. Yoo and the lawyer take turns pushing various theories, more than one of which fans of this genre might find themselves buying into before the issues they present are pointed out. During this time, a complex backstory develops, inviting us to make assumptions which are then challenged. There are, after all, only two people telling these stories, and everything we learn about the behavior of others is filtered through one or the other of them.
One of the advantages of this format is that it conceals a multitude of sins. When something seems to happen too quickly, too easily, too neatly, we don’t really know if it’s a ploy or a storytelling flaw. Nevertheless, Yoon concludes nicely in the end with a scene reminiscent of two 1960 films by Alfred Hitchcock and René Clément. Both tracks are excellent and get us to this point with uncomfortable skill. To say more would be to risk revealing too much, but if you are a fan of mysteries and refined thrillers, this Fantasia selection will suit you perfectly.
Opinion left on: August 02, 2022