The Gifted Hands or originally known as 사이코메트리 (sa-i-ko-mae-teu-ri/psychometry) is a 2013 South Korean Movie. It was released in Korea on March 7th and it is currently being screened exclusively at Blitzmegaplex. I saw the trailer when i watch Oblivion last week: flashes of image in cold colours with intense musical background, revolving around the premise of psychometry, involving gruesome case handled by a police officer. So i thought, ‘oh cool! this is gonna be something like Death Note or something!’
That was idiotic of me.
The story focus on a dead-beat detective Yang Chun-Dong (Kim Kang-Woo) who got involved in a case where a girl is reported missing only to be found (much later) that she was kidnapped and murdered.He realised that he saw that crime scene before, in a grafito done by a mysterious man called Kim Joon (Kim Beom), who confessed that he saw the images from his psychometric vision. When a second victim is abducted by the same perpetrator, Chun-Dong must take drastic measures to solve the crime with the aide of Joon’s psychic vision.
The premise made me expect an intense criminal chase with twists and multiple mindfucks. But really it turns out the movie is far more simple than that. The detective which i expect to have a brooding, angsty quality apparently bears more resemblance to Kogoro Mouri (from Meitantei Conan): vain, lazy, monetary-driven. Earlier in the movie we saw this side of him and thought i was in the wrong movie, as it tried to tickle the audience with comedy that fell short and cheap. As the story progress we can see the layers of personality there, a hidden childhood trauma that triggered his decision of career choice. I really wish i can relate and sympathetise with the character, but i guess the pace did not allow that to happen, instead i found the personality shifts as erratic and jerky.
The other character, Kim Joon who possessed this psychometric abilities to see events happening in the past. His existence in the plot lends an angst-y, melodramatic ambiance to the movie, the man burdened with a cursed gift and a traumatic incident in his adolescence. Even if there were flashes of his past revealed in the movie, i still question a lot of motive of his actions and decision making. But okay, the dude is pretty, IMHO, and that coupled with the fact that there’s a (more than) bromance atmosphere between the two leads distracts me from all other flaws of this movie.
With a weak start, the first part of the movie kept me interested enough. But as the story progress, instead of trying to engage more, the plot seems to be giving out more and more answers prematurely. So there’s no big reveal being built up whatsoever, instead in the last third of the movie it became clear what the conclusion gonna be like. Saying it’s predictable is quite an understatement. Towards the end we see how the whole psychometry angle as a gimmick in the movie, without it the movie will be as just another episode of CSI.
See, i’ve bitched and moan within the 500 words i wrote so far. But let me tell you this, while this might not fulfill the golden standard of korean cinema (like how my friend N will so eloquently put it), I still think this is a decent movie. Think of this movie like a Jack Reacher, easily entertaining, as oppose to Minority Report that engage and has so many levels (why the Cruise‘s movies comparison?!). As a movie it’s serve its purpose as a light entertainment and some pretty Korean eye candy this might be for you, but if you’re looking for something to ponder about for a few days or so, you probably need to skip this one.
All Pictures are taken from Hancinema.
PS: i think these poster is kinda cool, gave a sense of thrill without knocking you over the head with it.