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Idol (15)

London Korean Film Festival


Following his harrowing drama Han Gong-ju (2013), director Lee Su-jin turns to noir, established by opening shots of a rainy nocturnal cityscape. In an instantly arresting voiceover, Yoo Joong-sik (Lee Chang-dong regular Sul Kyung-gu) intimately describes masturbating his mentally challenged son Bu-nam, introducing the central theme of errant fatherhood.

Bu-nam has been killed in a hit-and-run accident. "Hiding details now could have consequences later," insists rising politician Koo Myung-hui (Han Seok-kyu), making his guilty son confess to the police - but with the full extent of the crime becoming clearer, decent Myung-hui sinks ever lower in covering up a situation that threatens his political ambitions. As he and Joong-sik circle each other in search of Bu-nam's missing bride Ryun-hwa (Chun Woo-hee), everyone's buried secrets lead to a violent collision of class and politics from which nobody emerges looking pretty. Broodingly paced and elliptically plotted, Lee's film unleashes an iconoclastic onslaught of grief, corruption and revenge.

Book Tickets

Thursday 7 Nov 201920:15