Festival Film Review: The Classified File

The Classified File

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) SterneSterneSterneSterneSterne

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.

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