Movie Monday – The Attorney (2013)

Starring: Song Kang Ho as Song Woo Seok, Oh Dal Su as Park Dong Ho, Kim Young Ae as Choi Soon Ae, Lee Sung Min as Lee Yoon Taek, Jo Min Ki as Prosecutor Kang Young Cheol, Kwak Do-Won as Cha Dong-Young, and Im Shi Wan as Park Jin Woo

Rating: PG-13/R, some violence

Running Time: 127 min

Twinkies: 4 stars

Synopsis: Song Woo-Seok graduated from high school and eventually passed the bar. He is now an attorney in Busan specializing in tax law. The only reason that he became an attorney is for the money. Unlike other attorneys around him, he hands out his business card to pick up clients.

One day, his views are changed by student activist Jin-Woo. Because of this, Jin-Woo is brutally tortured and put on trial. Song Woo-Seok decides to defend Jin-Woo as his client. ~ An original by web-toon artist Yang Woo-seok.

Musings: As usual Song Kang Ho is a consummate actor regardless of his character or the basis of the story. This is no different. But one thing you can be sure of, the awards and accolades given to this movie are well earned by the actors and director that are so honored and well deserved I might say.

Lee Sung Min as Lee Yoon Taek was just par for the course! Again, when have you ever seen this man act bad? Me? Never! He had one of the best lines of the movie “The media is the last thing you can trust now”. Words that are even more true today, call me a cynic! As this movie takes place during the 1981 Busan and the disorder and protests that happened during that time period, it is with surprise to find out that the movie is based on true events.

As expected with true stories and their use of realism, I must warn you of the occasional brutality that is shown. As this was usual for the time period, I’m just here as a messenger to warn you.

But what it took for Song Woo-Seok to change his way of thinking from “the kids shouldn’t be protesting” to defending an innocent young man was the fact that he knew the young man, played brilliantly by Si Wan (note to readers: if you haven’t seen Misaeng, YOU MUST!!).

His portrayal of Jin-Woo was simply astounding! I always have to remind myself how young an actor he is. While others gravitate to his movies/dramas because he is an artist (ZE:A, for those not in the know), I simply know him as an actor. One of those rare musical artist that easily can (and do) make the transition from one stage to another. Big props to Si Wan in the acting department.

I could highlight so many of the actors; the Mother played by Kim Young Ae, simply sensational and deserves the awards she received; Jo Min Ki as the Prosecutor (Boooo!), I still have the bad taste of Golden Rainbow when I see this actor. He needs a different type of role as he plays despicable very, very well; Jung Won Joong as Attorney Kim Sang Pil who is responsible for bringing Woo-Seok into the case, and finally Kwak Do Won as Inspector Cha. His portrayal is spot on and definitely gives you a closer look at the politics, corruption, and power abuse of the era.

As you can expect, the final court room scene will not only have you cheering but also tears of joy and happiness. It was a scene well orchestrated to bring the viewers not only into the court room but also into the story effectively. 99 of 142 attorneys of Busan were present for that last case. Yes, impressive! It is no wonder that the awards are many and also the fact that this was one of the top grossing internationally distributed films for 2013 into 2014. This film is loosely based on the 1981 Busan Book Club Trial. In that case, attorney Roh Moo-hyun, became a future President of S. Korea (may he rest in peace). Well acted!


2014 (50th) Paek Sang Arts Awards
Best Film
Best New Director (Yang Woo-Seok)
2014 (34th) Korean Association of Film Critics Awards
Best Supporting Actor (Kwak Do-Won)
Best New Director (Yang Woo-Seok)
2014 (51st) Dae jong Film Awards
Best Supporting Actress (Kim Young-Ae)
Best New Director (Yang Woo-Seok)
Best Screenplay (Yang Woo-Seok, Yoon Hyun-Ho)
2014 (35th) Blue Dragon Film Awards
Best Film
Best Actor (Song Kang-Ho)
Best Supporting Actress (Kim Young-Ae)

Trailer is available on on YouTube Website only. The movie is available on various websites. Also available on Dramafever if you are a subscriber.

I’m available on Twitter. Thanks to all of you Twinkles out here who are taking the time to read! If you have a suggestion for a future review, just leave me a comment! I’m always happy to have movie suggestions.

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