Innocent Witness

Here is a review of the top K drama film, Innocent Witness

IMDB: 7.4/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 62%

This contains the spoiler for this Movie

Hangul: 증인

Hanja: 證人

Released date: February 13, 2019

Genres: Crime, Drama, and Mystery

Distributed By: Lotte Entertainment or Lotte Cultureworks

Directed By: Lee Han

Written By: Lee Han and Moon Ji-won

Produced By: Kim Jae-joong, Lee Jun-woo, and Kim Woo-jae

Original language: Korean

Budget: N/A

Box office: $17.2 million

Innocent Witness – Storyline

Lawyer Soon-ho (Jung Woo-sung) recently started working for a firm where he intends to advance quickly. He has been an idealist up until now, but he is now trying to build a job because his father, who is now living with him, got into debt.

His most recent instance might serve as the stepping stone he desired. It concerns a purported homicide. It is claimed that his client Mi-ran (Yum Hye-ran) killed an old man. According to her, he strangled himself with a plastic bag. The girl Ji-woo (Kim Hyang-gi), who claims to have witnessed the murder via a window, is the only reason she is in detention. Ji-woo is hence Soon-ho’s starting point.

She does have autism, though. Hyeon-jeong (Jang Young-nam), the girl’s mother, wants to leave her daughter alone because the whole situation is upsetting enough as it is. Ji-woo therefore encounters the girl on her way home from school, but she chooses not to engage with him. Because he knows nothing about autism, the lawyer finds it difficult to relate to her.

Her autism is advantageous for him, though, as it makes it simple to challenge the veracity of her claims. Thus, his current case appears to be merely a formality, and the lawyer has already scheduled his next case, for which Soon-ho even needs to get his hands dirty but is certain to receive a promotion in return. But as time passes, he more succeeds in seeing the world through Ji-woo’s eyes, and he starts to wonder if he should really choose money over everything.

Cast

Real Name Movie name
Jung Woo-sung Soon-ho
Hyang-gi Kim Ji-woo
Jang Young-Nam Hyun Jung [Ji-woo’s Mother]
Geun-hyeong Park Yang Gil Jae [Soon-ho’s Father]
Innocent Witness
Innocent Witness cast during movie premiere

Hello Ghost – Review

The movie “Innocent Witness” is precisely what you anticipate from the poster. However, despite what the title would have suggested, it is not a thriller. The stakes are established from the outset, and properly speaking, it is not just a matter of guilt or innocence. The autistic daughter and the lawyer’s unusual bond are in the foreground, and at one point the autistic girl only asks the naive question of whether Soon-ho is a nice person. And this 40-year-old man finds it difficult to provide an answer.

You are drawn into the story from beginning to end by the warmth that the film exudes. Unfortunately, as the plot is handled in a traditional manner with no shocks, the movie fails to score any marks for creativity. The two main characters, though, manage to carry the movie without any issues, so those aren’t actually necessary. Fortunately, the endearing tale also avoids any form of kitsch.

If you are familiar with the work of filmmaker Lee Han, such as the films “Punch” and “Thread of Lies,” you know that his style is to make a strong emotional connection to the events without depending on tacky techniques like manipulative music or torrents of tears.

And this film is not an exception to that rule. The awkwardness with which the lawyer and the schoolgirl approach one another is done on purpose, and this is what gives the happenings on film their unique appeal. Prejudices against people with autism are probably present in the general public, and Soon-ho encounters them as well. Even though the girl poses a serious obstacle to his case, he eventually manages to understand it from her point of view.

The possibility that the lawyer is simply interested in growing closer to the girl in order to undermine her evidence hangs over their potential friendship like the Sword of Damocles.

This refocuses attention on Soon-ho, who was once idealistic and is now a man evolving. This is demonstrated in a side story with a woman who is truly meant to be his love interest, but he drifts away from her as he puts his focus on making money.

Because of this, he loses her respect, something that Soon-ho also struggles with. But there is also a certain kind of determination about him. But given that his father is deeply in debt, what option does he have? The father-related subplot allows for some amusing exchanges and helps to develop the lawyer’s persona a little bit. To be honest, Jung Woo-sung (“Steel Rain”) is not a really talented performer.

However, he is a terrific fit for parts that center on a good man. After all, he has a trustworthy and loyal appearance. However, there are also situations where it is clear that Jung is being pushed to the limit. Fortunately, it doesn’t detract from the overall quality of the film.

The major issue with “Innocent Witness” is now apparent. You genuinely never have any doubts that Soon-ho is a good guy, and you also know from the start how the narrative will finish. The twist is the same way; you predict it relatively early on because it centers on a line that any normal person would find strange, with the possible exception that you might think autistic people are imbeciles.

The inquiry itself is also not particularly noteworthy, and the facts are given sequentially in court, of course. Despite the fact that most of the movie is set in a courtroom, there isn’t a sense that you are dealing with a courtroom drama.

Lee Han, who has an eye for attractive picture arrangements, is also to credit for the mood being simply too warm. However, it would have been wonderful if Soon-ho’s moral dilemma had been more fully developed during the narration.

Without a sure, the filmmaker and actress Kim Hyang-gi (“Along with the Gods: Two Worlds”) worked very hard to portray autism in a sympathetic manner. Even though Kim’s character inhabits another realm, she is nonetheless able to engage with others in her portrayal, which exhibits subtle nuance.

This occasionally occurs in an embarrassing manner, which provides the basis for some amusing sequences but also some of the most heartbreaking ones. Consider the Netflix series “Atypical” for an example of this combination; it works.

The amazing bond that forms during the film is exactly what you want if you want to see a heartwarming movie without it being tacky. Unfortunately, the ending was written using a well-known pattern. What Lee Han’s area of expertise is as a director.

Trophies and Awards

Awards Category Result
55th Baeksang Arts Awards Grand Prize Won
Best Actor Nominated
Best Actress Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Nominated
Best Screenplay Nominated
39th Golden Cinema Film Festival Grand Prize Won
40th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Actor Won
6th Korean Film Producers Association Awards Won
27th Korean Culture and Entertainment Awards Best Actress Won
39th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards Won
56th Grand Bell Awards Best Film Nominated
Best Actor Nominated
Best Actress Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Nominated
Best Screenplay Nominated
Best Cinematography Nominated

Also Read: Hello Ghost (2010) Movie Review

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