This week we’re checking out 2013 suspense thriller smash, Blood and Ties directed by Guk Dong-suk.

Journalism graduate Da-Eun, played by Son Ye-Jin, is passionate about becoming a newspaper reporter and suspects her father to be the culprit of an unsolved crime committed fifteen years ago.  Da-Eun goes to watch a movie about a real-life crime that was left unresolved. A young boy is kidnapped and later discovered dead once the kidnapper claimed a ransom for him. The profile of the kidnapper matches that of Da-Eun’s father, Son-man played by Kim Kap-soo. This film depicts a struggle between conscience and loyalty and leaves the audience reeling in the aftermath of discovery.  What will happen if Da-Eun discovers that her father, the man she trusts and loves, is the murderous kidnapper?

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This film rests upon its fantastic cast and acting talent. The plot keeps you immobile with suspense and its enigmatic narrative really grips your attention. This idea of the once trustworthy, protective and authoritative character turning into a monstrous, loathsome criminal is overplayed in Korean cinema. Although the story is lacking in originality, it’s highly recommended to watch as it executes this overused theme really, really well.  Da-Eun truly wants to believe that her father is innocent but the promising reporter in her is itching to discover the truth. It’s a real fight between loyalty and justice. The strong father-daughter bond is engaging as it enhances the thrill of an ‘is he/isn’t he’ plot device. It’s vital to the characterisation of both characters as it poses the question: just how deep does the blood run? Da-Eun’s conflicting thoughts of conscience versus loyalty serves as the suspense. Conveniently, her ‘boyfriend’ is a budding police officer and this also serves as another conflict. Does Da-Eun remain loyal to her father whom she only has suspicions of, or does she does the moral thing and turn him in?

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Blood and Ties is an interesting twist on an unoriginal idea with promise. It’s a great thriller with suspense throughout and an excellent cast to support it.

Check out the trailer!

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