Believer tells a story about catching Asia’s biggest narco, inspired by Hong Kong movie Drug War directed by Johnnie To. Police detective is keep looking for this mysteries drug cartel, Mr. Lee, for revenge. In an explosion accident, an only survivor becomes the key clue for detective to catch Mr. Lee. He also has important connection with related workers in the company such as Chinese dealer, drug manufacture expert. There was a director claiming that he is Mr. Lee but actually the real Mr. Lee is that survivor. Officially announced that (the fake) Mr. Lee has been arrested. However, police detective decided to resign and chase the real Mr. Lee.
There are two scenes impressing me so much.The first one is the conversation among detective, Mr. Lee and worker. Previously detective met the real Chinese dealer then he marked down all words he said and repeated in front of the worker. And the last shot of the movie is a gun in the house. The snow is still very peaceful outside. Detective and Mr. Lee both put the gun on the table before drinking coffee. The reason why detective did it is that he tries to show that he won’t use weapon. But Mr. Lee’s behavior means that the detective won’t go out of this house anymore. Detective asks: Have you ever been happy in your life? He is crying. In my opinion, detective come not for arresting him but for ending his life and trying to comfort his heart because he is responsible for his team member’s death. The open ending leaves audience suspense to think about and guest who died in the end.
As for fighting scene like struggle and gunbattle are very wonderful. Sudden explosion are eye-catching like Hong Kong movie style especially biting eyeball on the table. While in the whole casting I think Jun-yeol Ryu (Mr. Lee) has great acting skill. He is always be very calm and innocent so that detective still trusts him even he caused team member’s death but Mr. Lee saved his life. And director describes his childhood story in detail which helps audiences to understand his psycological change. Two mute drug manufacture experts are really impressive as well. Their funny gesture and conversation creates happy atmosphere. But in the end they are armed and very cruel to people shock everyone. It means that you cannot judge a book just from its cover.
In my opinion, it is smart to select Believer with nice script and excellent production in Korean Film Festival. The promotion for 2018 Korean film festival is on different social media like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat although it is not as widespread as Melbourne International Film Festival. It is a good chance to let more people get familiar with Korean culture and movie.