As goodwill ambassador for Sancheong County, I was delighted when Sancheong’s most famous Buddhist monk, the late Seong Cheol sunim, got name checked in The Classified File as the Seon Master of the Buddhist-trained fortune teller who unofficially assisted the police in the real-life 1978 kidnap case that was the subject of the movie. One or two of my friends in Sancheong occasionally visit Busan to consult a fortune teller who used to be a Buddhist monk, and I’m guessing it’s the same man, still practicing his remarkable gift.
As for the film itself, it’s a fun, well-crafted period detective piece based on a true story with enough tension and side-plots to keep you entertained for 108 minutes. With seasoned actors Kim Yoon-seok (Haemoo, Yellow Sea, The Thieves, Chaser) as the detective, Yoo Hae-jin (Veteran, The Unjust, Tazza, Public Enemy) as the fortune teller, and Song Yeong-chang (Nameless Gangster, Thirst, The Man from Nowhere, An Affair) as the kidnapped girl’s rich father, and at the helm Kwak Kyung-taek who focused our attention on Busan in Friend, we are in safe hands. Nothing to write home about, but an ideal movie to catch on the in-flight entertainment on an international flight.
Kwak Kyung-taek (곽경택) The Classified File (극비수사, 2015)
The Classified File screened at the Regent Street Cinema on 12 November as part of the London Korean Film Festival’s Hits from 2014-15 strand. Nice venue.