Good Friends (좋은 친구들)
Synopsis: Hyun Tae, In Chul and Min Soo have been best friends since childhood. Hyun Tae is a paramedic with a daughter in kindergarten, In Chul works at an insurance company, and Min Soo is a small business owner. Hyun Tae’s mother, who owns an illegal gambling arcade, asks In Chul to stage a robbery of her arcade to get an insurance settlement. But after that results into a tragic homicide, the friends have a falling out and their relationships to each other forever changed.
Country: South Korea
Genre: Drama, crime, friendship
Director: Lee Do-Yoon
Casting: Ji Sung, Joo Ji Hoon, Lee Kwang Soo…
Good Friends was a strange movie in the way that it juggled between surprise and obvious. Surprise in the way they approach the subject, obvious in the way they built it afterwards. I knew that would be about friendship. I knew they would do something illegal which would challenge their bond but that was basically it. I actually thought the three of them would be equally involved in a case and have each other’s back during a police investigation. But it was in fact far from that (that was one part of the surprise but if you’ve read the synopsis or watched the trailer with subtitles I guess that won’t be the case for you).
In Cheol (Joo Ji Hoon) is in fact the one really at the centre of the story. He works for an insurance company. Quite dishonest, he is famous for his fake cases (making healthy people sign for insurance and helping them getting their recovery payment by faking sickness). Unfortunately he is discovered by the police insurance and has to face a disciplinary committee. Completely screwed-up and broke, he comes up with a plan with Hyun Tae (Ji Sung) ‘s mother who signed one of his insurance to protect her illegal gambling arcade in case of fire. She is in bad terms with her son and has a hard time managing her business on her own since her husband fell ill. In Cheol decides to help her as much as him by drawing a half-arsed plan. Unable to execute it alone he asks Min Soo (Lee Kwang Soo) for help. That’s where the plot started to become very obvious. You know exactly how the plan will go and how it will end for everyone (>>>SPOILER- not exactly everyone -SPOILER<<<) since we already know what kind of character we are dealing with. We are given glimpses of them during the opening. We know that Min Soo is the pushover of the band. We know that Hyun Tae is the good, smart and trustful one. The only one who actually lives his life rightfully (married, father, and a nice/noble job). And finally we know that In Cheol is the bad boy of their little group (if you don’t see it through his actions you’ll certainly notice it through his countless swearing- a recurrent point in Korean movies!). We see him falls more and more in deep problem as the movie goes, dragging with him the poor Min Soo. Even though 3/4 of the movie were easy to guess Good Friends was overall very pleasant to watch and not in the least boring. The making was nice, the ost poignant and the actors wonderful! Lee Kwang Soo should be given more role honestly! He had nothing to envy to Ji Sung and Joo Ji Hoon here. All three were really great and I think that’s mainy thanks to their performance that I never got bored. For example Min Soo’s character was really simply written. It was impossible to be surprised by his ending. Yet I was deeply moved by him because of Lee Kwang Soo. Him (+ the other) and the last 15 minutes of the movie is definitely worth a watch. I loved how In Cheol and Hyun Tae turned out to be different from their original draft and how the scriptwriters finally called everything into question.
To sum up I would say that it would be a shame to miss Good Friends. If most scenes are predictable, it’s not the case of all of them: there are also a good deal of unforgettable scenes that will make you go through various layer of emotions. Two words: try it!
Note de Dushbadou: 8.5/10
Note d’Alice: 8/10
Note de Whoovy: 8/10
Note finale : 8.5/10