Pluto (Shin Su-won, 2013)

*Watched as part of the Asia-thon 2016 Film Project*

What's it about? An academically gifted schoolboy (Sung Joon) is found dead in the woods and suspicion soon falls upon one of his classmates (Lee David). But, as the police investigate, flashbacks reveal there's more to this than first meets the eye.

Is it any good? A pretty good drama with appealing performances from the young cast which helps keep the interest high throughout as it assuredly flicks between past and present in revealing the events surrounding the boy's death. It does fizzle out a little as it reaches a rather low-key climax, seemingly a little unsure of how to balance the tense, thriller elements of the movie with the more philosophical themes which inform the film's title. Nonetheless, director Shin Su-won (a former teacher whose experience helped shape the tidy script) has still fashioned a scathing social commentary on the ultra-competitive nature of the Korean education system and the effect it has on the pressurized students in this dog-eat-dog environment. The real-life footage of exam-related hysteria played over the end credits rather disturbingly reveals the events depicted in the film might not be all that far-fetched.

I don't trust you. What do others think? You mean my review isn't good enough for you? I don't think I could handle the rejection if people don't like this. But some of those other reviews do look far better than mine - maybe I'll just copy theirs....

Anything else I should know? The Asia-thon 2016 Film Project is my New Year's resolution to watch more films from the Far East, a project which is both laudable and insufferably pretentious. A full list of films viewed can be found here.

What does the Fonz think? Worth studying.

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