Choi Min-shik and Park Shin-hye navigate courtroom twists and turns in Blackened Heart
I don’t know about you, but I would watch Choi Min-shik doing anything, or nothing, for hours on end. I swear the man holds enough gravitas to turn even the lightest of cotton candy into a showcase of award-worthy dramatic acting. His newest film, Blackened Heart, is no cotton candy though, and the promotion material promises an intricate legal thriller with high stakes involved. For those of you familiar with Chinese cinema, you’ll recognize Blackened Heart (the literal translation of the title is Silence) as a remake of 2013’s Silent Witness.
Choi Min-shik plays a CEO of a large company who has everything at the beginning of the film; in addition to his wealth, he is happily engaged to a famous singer. His whole world comes crashing down one day when his fiancee, played by Honey Lee (Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People), is found murdered, and the primary suspect is his own daughter. Lee Soo-kyung (the Hogu’s Love actress, not the Let’s Eat one) will be reuniting with Choi Min-shik after playing another father and daughter pair in The Mayor.
Choi Min-shik’s character curiously forgoes the cadre of highly paid lawyers he probably has on retainer and hires rookie defense attorney Park Shin-hye (Doctors) to fight for his daughter’s behalf in court. Perhaps he chose her as a matter of trust, and he asks Park Shin-hye in the teaser whether she believes in his daughter’s words. Lee Soo-kyung doesn’t have any recollection of what happened the night her father’s fiancee was murdered, but that doesn’t deter Park Shin-hye from believing in her client’s innocence, and the novice lawyer becomes something of an older sister figure to the young murder suspect.
The case takes an unexpected turn, though, when Ryu Joon-yeol’s character, a fan of the murdered singer, appears and alleges that he has CCTV footage from the night of his idol’s death. I’ve only ever seen Ryu Joon-yeol in really likable—and thus heartbreaking—roles (see: Answer Me 1988, A Taxi Driver, and The King), so I sort of hope his character here is really as shady as the description and his split-second appearance in the teaser seem to suggest. It feels like the film will make us question everyone and everything, and the teaser ends with the copy, “The truth everyone knows and the lie everyone believes.”
I can always appreciate a smart, tightly woven plot that takes its viewers along for the whodunit guessing game, so I’m looking forward to watching the mystery unfold along with the rest of the characters in Blackened Heart. And with acclaimed director Jung Ji-woo (Eun-gyo, Happy End) at the helm, I’m sure it’s going to be a beautiful and harrowing ride.
Blackened Heart will premiere in Korean cinemas sometime in November.
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