Wednesday, November 25, 2015         


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Politics, torture make for gripping ‘Attorney’

By McClatchy News Services


The South Korean film "The Attorney" is misleading. From the poster and the first half-hour, the film gives the impression that it's going to be a rather light tale of an up-by-his-bootstraps, money-hungry lawyer, Song Woo-seok (Song Kang-ho, "The Face Reader"), at odds with his more refined, elite legal colleagues. But that's just a warm-up for what turns out to be a gripping courtroom drama riddled with South Korean politics and torture scenes that wouldn't have been out of place in "Zero Dark Thirty."

* * * 1/2
At Pearlridge West 16

Set in the '80s and based on real events, the film shows Woo-seok realizing that money isn't everything after a young man he knows, Park Jin-woo (Siwan), has been "disappeared" by police under the pretense that he's a communist. Jin-woo turns up two months later in prison, beaten, tortured and set for a kangaroo court. Woo-seok agrees to defend him, even though it means losing a major corporate client, stoking the wrath of the military government and endangering his family.

"The Attorney" features a powerful, energetic performance by Kang-ho, arguably South Korea's most popular actor at the moment, and has been a big hit in South Korea since its release in December. It certainly deserves wider exposure in the U.S.


Review by Cary Darling, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

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