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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Film Review - The Attorney

By Adam Ruhl

Kang-ho Song (Snowpiercer, Thrist) is back in a role that is a substantial departure from what American audiences have seen him play in the past. In ‘The Attorney’, he is the titular role of Woo-seok Song, a Korean lawyer who starts out simply to make money from real estate licenses. When a young man he knows is wrongly accused of subversive activity and tortured, Song has a change of heart and becomes the man’s defense attorney.

This film from first time Director Woo-Seok Yang is a fascinating courtroom drama and grants some insights into recent South Korean history. It is loosely based around the true origin story of South Korea’s former President Roh Moo-hyun. Set in 1980, it depicts a South Korea under an authoritarian government, gripped by intense paranoia of communist infiltration.  Song takes up a single handed battle to expose a corrupt system in tale that feels in tone very much like some of the early John Grisham stories.

The Attorney is bit oddly paced. There is a long introduction to Song’s life, family, and career before we get to the land mark case. This long set up has a completely different tone so that midway through the movie it seems to change genres from comedy to drama abruptly. The strong cast and gripping story make this a barely noticeable oversight.

The Attorney opens in select cities February 7th, distributed by Well Go USA.

RUN TIME/FORMAT: 127 MIN / Digital formats / Korean with English Subtitles / Not Rated

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