Friday, February 20, 2015

Film Review: Tabloid Truth (2014)

Tabloid Truth (Review)
Kim Kwang-sik/Kim Kang-woo/2014
Where to Watch:
Netflix Instant
Amazon Prime

"...I did enjoy Tabloid Truth quite a bit."

Lee Woo-gon (Kim Kang-woo), a talent manager, relentlessly searches for the source of a scandalous rumor responsible for his client's death.

Tabloid Truth is an interesting mystery/thriller film. The story follows Woo-gon after his close client, Mi-jin (Go Won-hee), commits suicide. Woo-gon blames her suicide on a vicious rumor that began circulating concerning Mi-jin and her supposed relationship with a politician. So, Woo-gon begins to track the source of the rumor, which unravels an even larger and more dangerous conspiracy. It has plenty of twists and turns to keep you on your feet, but nothing mind-blowing or completely unpredictable. In fact, most of the ending could be seen from a mile away. Still, I enjoyed it.

Tabloid Truth's biggest issue was the storytelling. Like I said, the story and concept are very interesting, but storytelling is odd – for lack of a better term. There seems to be a lack of balance and consistency. For example, the introduction quickly introduces the audience to Woo-gon and Mi-jin, their relationship, their come up, and so on – it almost feels like a montage instead of actual scenes. And, this occurs quite often. Events that should be very important and thorough are quickly cut together in what feel like montage sequences. Even more hurtful to the balance, some of the sequences are drawn out and unnecessarily bloated. Aside from the balance and pacing issues, the film is also a tad bit contrived and convenient.

Although the aforementioned issues are significant, I did enjoy Tabloid Truth quite a bit. The story genuinely resonated. It wasn't a tearjerker or something that will stay with me forever, like Silenced, but it tackles an issue that is genuinely problematic – poisonous rumors, an issue that hasn't been tackled by film too often. I like the source it develops for the rumors, too. Furthermore, Tabloid Truth delivers some suspenseful and tense sequences, including a few genuinely thrilling chase scenes. The humor was occasionally hit-and-miss, but it got a smirk out of me every now and then.

The acting wasn't half-bad, either. Kim Kang-woo is good as the leading man. Ko Chang-seok added some much needed variety to the film with his humorous performance. The film has a very shiny look, you could see a few scenes with the lens flare. It looked good, but the style feels overdone. The editing during the montages was good, too, but, like I said, the montages were unnecessary. Director Kim Kwang-sik, who also directed My Dear Desperado, delivers an enjoyable thriller, but it is hindered by a bad balance, poor pace, and bloated runtime.

Overall, I liked Tabloid Truth. It's a good mystery-thriller. It kept me engaged from beginning to end, and it had me at the edge of my seat more than once. It does feel like it often drags its feet, then rushes past some significant events, but it ultimately works out. If you have two hours to spare and your itching to find the (maybe fictional) source of these vile rumors, this may be worth your time.

Score: 6/10
Parental Guide: Violence and blood.

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