Written by: Michael Den Boer on July 19th, 2014
Theatrical Release Date: South Korea, 2013
Director: Woo-seok Yang
Writers: Yoon Hyeon-ho, Woo-seok Yang
Cast: Yeong-ae Kim, Do Won Kwak, Dal-su Oh, Kang-ho Song, Young-chang Song, Si-wan Yim
DVD released: June 17th, 2014
Approximate running time: 127 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Korean, Dolby Digital Stereo Korean
DVD Release: Well Go USA
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.98
Synopsis: An ambitious lawyer quickly rises to the top and forgets the truly important things in life. That is until one day when someone close to him is accused of being communist. Angered by what is going on, he takes on a case that all of his colleges have deemed unattainable.
Though this film starts off as film about an underdog overcoming all odds to become one of the most successful in his field of expertise. While the latter half of the film takes on more political tone that deals with a country trying to protect its citizens at all costs and in the end this leads to citizens’ rights being abused by the same people who claim to be protecting them. It is also during this latter half of the film this film’s protagonist makes one last transformation as he realizes that true satisfaction comes from helping others and not from accumulating financial assets.
At the heart of this film is a tale about government corruption and one man’s fight to give the power back to people and take it away from those who have been abusing it. This film’s pivotal moment involves the government abduction of a young man who has become friends with this film’s protagonist an attorney named Song Woo-seok. Fearing that some of its citizen’s may be spies working on behalf of North Korea, the government then brands several young men as communists. With the only evidence against them being subversive literature that they have been reading as part of a book club. And to make sure this government sanctioned witch hunt goes off without a hitch, the government employs the services of a sadistic high ranking official from its military to execute the plan.
The narrative though slow out of the gate really picks up steam once the story shifts towards the government round up of so called communist spies. Also this film does a superb job establishing who everyone is and what their motivations are? Content wise this film deals with subject matter that translates effortlessly no matter where you come from and in today’s political climate said subject matter is more relevant than ever.
From a performance stand point thee entire cast are all very good in their respective roles with this film’s strongest performance coming from Kang-ho Song (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Thirst) in the role of Song Woo-seok. Another performance of note is Si-wan Yim in the role of Jin-Woo, the young man who is abducted and tortured by a secret government group whose job it is to round up communists. The scenes were his character is being tortured are easily the most memorable and gut-wrenching to watch.
Well Go USA presents The Attorney in an anamorphic widescreen that retains the film’s intended aspect ratio. The source used is in great shape as colors and flesh tones look accurate and details generally look crisp throughout. Black levels fare well, there are no issues with compression and edge enhancement is kept to a minimum.
This release comes with two audio options, a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in Korean and a Dolby Digital stereo mix in Korean. Range wise the differences between these two audio mixes in minimal. Both audio mixes sounds clean, clear and balanced throughout. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles.
Extras for this release are limited to a trailer for the film and trailers for other titles also available from Well Go USA. Overall The Attorney gets a strong audio / video presentation from Well Go USA.