Movie review: Seo Yea-ji shines as another disturbed author in 'Recalled'

Fred Hawson

Posted at Jun 27 2021 09:52 AM

Movie review: Seo Yea-ji shines as another disturbed author in 'Recalled' 1
Seo Yea-ji in 'Recalled'

Soo-jin (Seo Yea-ji) lost her memory when she recovered from an accident. Her husband Ji-hoon (Kim Kang-woo) had to fill in all the details of her past. However, she began to see what felt like visions of future events involving people in their condominium building. In the following days, Soo-jin met up with a former colleague who confused her with stories about her and her husband that conflicted with those that Ji-hoon had been telling her. 

Koreans really excel in these crime-thriller with a psychological twist and this was another one of them. We see things in the point of view of Soo-jin and everything was being fed to us as it was being fed to her by Ji-hoon. We experience the same confusion she was feeling when she began seeing those prophetic visions. Her doctor dismissed these as hallucinations brought about most likely by her severe concussion, aside from all her medications.

However, as more conflicting details were related to her from other sources, we share in her curiosity and paranoia to find out more about this man who was calling himself her husband. This was especially when he would figure prominently in her visions, which made him more and more suspicious. As the police and neighbors get involved in her mixed-up reality and fantasy, we also do not know where the story is going to go. 

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The psychologically-disturbed Soo-jin is played by Seo Yea-ji, who had recently just impressed viewers with her portrayal of another psychologically-disturbed author in the TV drama "It's Okay Not to Be Okay" (2020). Kim Kang-woo had such a good-boy aura about him as he played Ji-hoon, which made it more difficult to reconcile all those conflicting revelations about him in the course of the story. Sung Hyuk (as a neighbor hounded by a loan shark) and Yeom Hye-ran (as a director in an art school) provide effective support. 

For these crime thrillers to succeed, the revelation should delivered with such meticulous skill in order for the twist to work. In her impressive debut as director, Seo Yoo-min (who also wrote the script) did just that and more. Aside from navigating the complicated crime aspect (with its jumping back and forth in time) with solid logic, Seo also served the human drama aspect very well, as she explored the complex relationship between the two main characters with such sensitivity and heart. 

This review was originally published in the author's blog, "Fred Said."