A Hard Day is a South Korean police thriller involving a routine cop landing in massive trouble after a normal hit-and-run accident. The movie thrives on cleverly plotted, poised narrative and flawless execution. Punctuated by multiple bone crushing combat scenes and car chases, the movie doesn’t rely on heavy-handed gore, as is the case with many South Korean movies. The audience is kept on the edge of their seats with nerve-wracking action involving the protagonist, coupled with South Korean humor, social satire, and glint of surrealism.
The South Korean thriller is easily a relevant cinematic experience anywhere around the world. During his deceased mother’s funeral, a homicide detective is called back to duty as Internal Affairs has stormed their office. Driving fast on a pitch-black highway, he runs over an innocent man. He stashes the dead body in his car’s trunk and resumes driving to his destination. His series of brushes start when he encounters a roadblock patrolled by traffic police.
Internal Affairs, having stormed his office, discover bribe money circulating around openly as his team tries to make him the scapegoat. He ultimately manages to find a solution to dispose the body, albeit putting his mom in danger as well. Apparently, the protagonist jumps from one difficult situation to the next. Adding to his troubles is the reopening of old case files involving a minor thief he ran over. With an eyewitness loose on the streets, the plot thickens as the main antagonist turns out to be the arch nemesis.
The audience agrees with the Faustian relationship of the protagonist. He is resourceful and his resistance to pressure compels audience to root for him. The antagonist has been chosen aptly with no moral fiber. He manages to find humor situations himself without ever resorting to slapstick comedy. The movie highlights social norms, such as:
o Political cronyism
o Social inequality
o Corruption in police
The system is rotten to the core as officers bully their subordinates and bend rules as they like. The movie seems adept at showing relationships with human beings and lacks psychological penetration as well. Despite that, he never regrets committing murder due to dire consequences. The movie will strike a chord with the summer audience looking for some high-octane action and quality acting.
Photo via IMDb