With overstating things, last night was a difficult night for me(as was for everyone). Legendary singer KK passed away in a heartbreaking manner. The voice which was an integral part of our childhood and school and college farewells has now left us. It is heartbreaking and numbing and it will take sometime to heal as well. The loss is personal. KK sir you will be missed, until next time….
But as they say the show must go on. So I managed to sneak in a South Korean film Midnight which had premiered on Amazon Prime over the weekend. It is again one of those serial killer films produced by South Korea which they do so well. By now you know that serial killer films are my staple diet and I usually end up liking most of them. So then does Midnight manage to impress, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Midnight follows the story of a deaf woman and her mother who must tackle a ruthless serial killer after the former interrupts one of his acts. The story is interesting and it definitely promised to be a thrilling ride. But the screenplay is just plain vanilla. It begins on a good note with a thrilling opening sequence with a flaw which I will get to in a minute. But the way the sequence was designed was thrilling. You are introduced to the serial killer in the first scene itself making it clear that this isn’t a whodunnit. Post that, you are introduced to the protagonist and the characters around her. The entire sequence where the serial killer and the protagonist cross parts for the first time, leading to complete mayhem is just so well executed. It literally had me at the edge of my seat. But post that things just go downhill.
The main issue is that the police are shown to be dimwits who just can’t put two and two together. And this “allergy” spreads right throughout the film from the first scene until the very end. That was really hard for me to believe and it stuck out like a sore thumb! After the initial 20 odd minutes, the screenplay just lacks that bite. All the characters mostly do is run around the streets which is fine but it needed to have more purpose to it. The predictability of the drama just kills the excitement. It needed to be a little more nuanced and cerebral to have any kind of impact. There are a few fleeting moments(fearing the hearing impairment of the protagonist and how she puts that to her advantage) but few and far between culminating into an above average final act. Probably, an emotional track could have been introduced(which was briefly mentioned towards the end). In other words, the screenplay is just about mediocre.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are decent although nothing much to shout about. The BGM is pulsating and it definitely contributes in keeping you on your toes. Director Oh-Seung Kwon does a decent job although there are many instances where the drama borders on being silly and is found wanting.
The performances save the day to an extent. Park Hoon as Jong Tak shines particularly in combat sequences. Kim Hye-Yoon as So Jung has her moments to shine. Hae-yeon Kil as Kyung Mi’s mother does a fabulous job even in emotional moments. Wi Ha-Joon as Do Shik is a handsome man and he does an excellent job by upping the fear quotient. Ki-Joo Jin as Kyung Mi is just phenomenal. In one of my favourite scenes where she pleads in front of the protagonist, she emotes and expresses just so beautifully. That scene held my attention especially when I had given up on the film which says a lot.
Midnight is low on thrills and high on mediocrity. Available on Amazon Prime.