DMovies - Your platform for thought-provoking cinema

The Truth Beneath

Director - Lee Kyoung-mi - 2016

"Dirty gem"
Elections to kill for! K-thriller combines the colourful and the morbid in a twisted tale of teenage angst, political campaigning and murder - from the London Korean Film Festival taking place right now

There is often some ugly truth behind election campaigns. The tactics may involve smear, libel, media manipulation and lies with all sorts of emotional appeal. But what about infanticide? The Truth Beneath is a Korean political thriller which raises a very unusual question: would you kill your own daughter in order to ẃin the sympathy and therefore defeat your opponent in an election? Can politics get that dirty?

The second feature film the Korean female director Lee Kyoung-mi is flooded with whirlwind twists, not too different from the recent presidential elections in the US. Yeon-Hong (Son Ye-Jin, pictured above) is married to Jong-Chan (Kim Ju-Hyeok) and they have an adolescent daughter called Min-Jin (Shin Ji-Hoon). Jong-Chan is running for office at the National Assembly. Suddenly Min-Jin goes missing, and her mutilated body is found. Yeon-Hong begins to suspect that her husband is involved in the murder of their daughter for the purpose of increasing his ratings. So she sets off in a mission to investigate what led to the teenager’s death, and to find out whether her very own spouse would be capable of carrying one of the most shocking crimes imaginable: infanticide.

The Truth Beneath is an elegant and gripping noir thriller, in the tradition of good Korean movies such as Mother (Bong Joon-ho, 2009) and Oldboy (Park Chan-wook, 2003). The narrative is fast and complex, with emotional depth and visual flare. There is plenty of attention to trivial details: a close-up of the lips, food being chopped, the reflection a ringing mobile phone on a mirrored table, raindrops on a window, etc. The montage is also highly inventive, with faux raccords, objects morphing into something else (such as head turning into a person with their hands up), and a particularly impressive – if very short – sequence where the sun rapidly sets while a car drives down a road (as if dusk lasted just a couple of seconds). Top-drawer performances also help to sustain the borderline absurd plot: Son Ye-Jin delivers a passive-aggressive type of motherhood which will keep you riveted to your seat, afraid for your very own physical integrity.

Teenage angst is also a central pillar, and the director succeeds at blending a girl’s colourful world with the grim and gruesome elements of murder. There’s plenty of violence contrasted with the pink and the puerile. Colours are deftly used; there’s also pop music and creepy whistling and yodelling. The imagery, the performances and the incidental details of this movie will linger in your memory. Not to be missed!!!

The Truth Beneath is showing as part of the London Korean Film Festival taking place between November 3rd and 27th – just click here for more information.

Don’t forget to watch the film trailer below:



"Dirty gem"

By Victor Fraga - 24-11-2016

By Victor Fraga - 24-11-2016

Victor Fraga is a Brazilian born and London-based writer with more than 15 years of in...

DMovies Poll

Should smoking in cinema be banned?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Most Read

The world is blithely unaware of the coup [Read More...]
Back in 2010, Germany striker Mario Gomez urged [Read More...]
Forget Friday the 13th, Paranormal Activity and the [Read More...]
Pigs might fly. And so Brexit might happen. [Read More...]
Perhaps no other 20th century artist has captured [Read More...]
When people die, they are taken to the [Read More...]

Read More

Alive (Sanda)

Park Jung-bum
2014

Jeremy Clarke - 14-11-2018

A harsh life made worse. An austere existence, work problems and difficult family issues combine to make one man’s rural life almost unendurable – from the London Korean Film Festival (LKFF), on now [Read More...]

The Workshop (L’atelier)

Laurent Cantet
2018

Redmond Bacon - 14-11-2018

Angry without a cause? Teacher has to grapple with student's "white anxiety" and latent nationalism, as she attempts to help younger people to integrate into the world of work - French drama in cinemas Friday, November 16th [Read More...]

The Price Of Everything

Nathaniel Kahn
2018

Jeremy Clarke - 14-11-2018

Things money just can buy! Doc about contemporary art market – the artists, the dealers, the buyers – poses questions about the dual natures of both art and capitalism - in cinemas from Friday, November 16th [Read More...]

Facebook Comment

Website Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *