Korean Movie Review – “Manyeo” The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion 마녀
A slow burn action / thriller that will leave you on the edge of your seat.
It’s time to grab the popcorn and dive into this month’s movie review. In May we reviewed the newly released Korean action comedy Extreme Job so I thought we would shift genres and review Park Hoon-jung’s Manyeo, or “The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion.”. Which is a hard boiled action thriller introducing Kim Da-mi in her first role as an 8 year old girl who we see running through the woods from some sort of asylum / medical institution after some kind of bloody battle. She is found near death by farmer and former architect teacher Goo, played by Choi Jung-woo and his wife Oh Mi-hee.
The movie then jumps 10 years into the future, and we are once again introduced to the runaway girl, who is a healthy and gifted high school student named Ja-yoon. Her adoptive parents however are struggling. A recent downturn in cattle prices means Teacher Goo is barely able to keep the farm functioning and his wife is suffering from the early stages of Dementia. Ja-yoon is not able to remember anything about her past even though she occasionally suffers strange flashbacks and debilitating migraine headaches.
After her best (And only friend shown in the movie) convinces Ja-yoon to enter a talent show in Seoul offering a reward of $500,000 US Dollars, which is easily enough money to help out her parents, she begins to be stalked by a strange group of teen agers around her old age, and a group of what appear to be gangsters lead by the mysterious Mr Choi (Park Hee-soon).
After her best friend and adoptive parents are almost killed, Ja-Yoon reluctantly goes with the teens to learn about her past and to keep any additional harm from coming to her family and friend. Not only is what Ja-yoon discovers startling and disturbing, but most of what you believed about the movie and her motives up to this point is skillfully turned on its head! I will not spoil it in this review. You will need to watch the movie and find out on your own.
The climax of the film contains some great martial arts and special effects and will certainly entertain. As noted by the title, this is only part 1, so things only get resolved up to the point where it can be continued in a sequel. At this time I am not able to find any information regarding part 2. So we will have to wait and see.
I was happy with this film, the subtitles seemed fairly accurate and the plot could have easily become convoluted to did manage to stay on course. While the dialogue could become rather flat at times it did not take too much from the film. I would recommend this film if you are looking for a good psychological thriller / action movie with some good fight scenes thrown in for good measure. Though they are not really put on display until the second half of the film.
If you watch this film and wish to discuss it, feel free to head over to the forums. Please do not post spoilers in the comments section.
This title is not available from Amazon, or the Apple Music Store. You can find the title for purchase here. (Note: I have no experience purchasing from YesAsia. So, purchase at your own risk. Brent’s World is not subsidized, so I make no money from purchasing from any links on this site.)
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