Korean Movie Review: Innocent Witness

It seems like forever since I talked about a Korean drama or movie. I’ve just been so busy with planning for college and moving before that that I haven’t had much time to watch much of anything. Saying that, I watched this movie recently and I was so impressed by it that I had to share it with you.

Korean Title: 증인

Release: Feb. 13, 2019

Synopsis: Soon Ho (played by Jung Woo Sung) is a lawyer who is set to defend a housekeeper accused of killing her employer, an old man. The only witness to the case is Ji Woo (played by Kim Hyang Gi), a high school girl with autism. The story follows the court case and the friendship between the lawyer and the witness.

Spoiler Review

My synopsis really doesn’t do this movie justice, because the film is so adorable and moving. One of the main themes examined in the film is the treatment of those with mental disabilities in society. Ji Woo is mercilessly bullied in school due to her disability, but she is widely brilliant too. She can look at a polka dotted tie and in a few seconds can tell how many polka dots are on it. If someone is whispering in another room, she can hear every single word. But because she is not the same as everyone, they treat her cruelly.

Even Soon Ho at first sees her as a child, even if she is in high school. But as he grows to know her and sees her hurt by everyone seeing her as lesser, he sees her humanity. This, I think, is such an important message. We all have things which set us apart from others. One person might have lost a leg in war, or another might suffer from trauma from their past, but that doesn’t make them any less human.

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This film does a brilliant job in presenting the argument that, just because someone has a disability, does not give them any less dignity. Because Ji Woo has such a amazing hearing, she can repeat back exactly what the woman says when she murders the man. She is brilliant, she understands so much, and yet it is so easy to say she has autistic and is stupid because of it, even when she is not.

At first in the story, Soon Ho just wants to win the case, even if it means discrediting Ji Woo’s witness statement. However, by the end he truly believes her. Similarly, he is floundering in his personal life, and yet by the end he sees the importance of living life the best way he can.

There is a beautiful scene near the end of the movie where Ji Woo turns to Soon Ho and say, “You are a good person.” He tears up and says, “I will try to become a good person.”

I think all of us are struggling in life to be truly good. It is so easy to be a horrible person, and so hard to be just and wise. And yet often times it takes us meeting someone who is truly different to appreciate life and see the goodness and beauty around us.

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This movie is such a beautiful film! Kim Hyang Gi truly shines in the role of Ji Woo. I’ve seen her in Sweet Revenge (drama) and Snowy Road (movie), but this is my favorite performance by her. Equally Jung Woo Sung is brilliant as Soon Ho. The friendship between the two leads is by far the best part of this film.

It is strange how much I loved such a simple movie. There is a relatively small mystery, and a rather simple plot, but it is executed so brilliantly I could not stop watching. This is surprising to me, because I just happened upon this movie by accident and I had never heard of it before. But it definitely deserves more recognition.

What was the most moving film you’ve seen recently? Does this movie look interesting to you? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments, follow my blog for more musings and, as always,

Best wishes in your life full of adventure,

Madame Writer

4 thoughts on “Korean Movie Review: Innocent Witness

  1. Great review. I really like the trailer, so I may try to find this film to watch. I don’t think I have seen many Korean films. There is a movie Parasite by Bong Joon-ho, which won Palme d’Or recently, which I want to see, and I also watched The Handmaiden by Park Chan-wook – that is about all I recall. I like legal/crime dramas too, but I watch mainly Japanese. For example, I enjoyed The Third Murder by Hirokazu Koreeda.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love The Handmaiden. It’s a dark but beautiful movie. I haven’t seen Parasite, though. I’ll have to check it out. I admit I haven’t watched many legal/crime Japanese dramas (I mostly just love Japanese horror films). I’ll have to look up The Third Murder. Thank you for all the recommendations!

      Liked by 1 person

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