I’ve had Netflix original movie “Forgotten” on my list for a while now but because of the amount of movie backlogs I’ve had, I only gotten around to watching it yesterday. I must say that for something that was not released on mainstream, this movie did not scrimp on the quality and gave viewers an engaging, intriguing film.
Synopsis: 21 year-old Jin Seok (Kang Ha Neul) moves in with his family to a new house which seems to hold a lot of secrets. From the onset, he begins to hear weird sounds from one of the house’s rooms which the old owner has warned against opening at all cost. On their second night, Jin Seok’s big brother Yoo Seok (Kim Moo Yul), gets abducted but has no recollection of what happened while he was in captivity for 19 days. Believing that whoever returned was an impostor, Jin Seok sets off to uncover what really happened.
Straight from the bat, Forgotten makes it clear that viewers must pay attention to the film because it holds a lot of surprises. With dramatic scoring and Jin Seok’s seemingly perfect family and his anxiety medication, one would immediately deduce that the family has gone through something tragic in the past. However, as the movie progresses, the film proceeds to grow darker as if taking audiences deeper and deeper into an intricate maze. As more elements are revealed, the more complicated the story gets.
Its brilliance lies in the fake outs at the beginning that heightens the suspense element of the film. Still, as it kept the secrets close to its chest, the film also made sure not to mislead viewers into believing that this was a supernatural drama. It instead gets them to ask questions like what really happened? Why was Jin Seok taking meds? What’s going on with Yoo Seok?
It eventually comes together to tell the two separate stories of the brothers that are linked together by a common incident from their past. Not to reveal too much about the twist, it explores the pain that each of Jin Seok and Yoo Seok’s individual journeys entailed. The film succeeded in painting the picture for these two characters, in having audiences relate to their dilemma, each in their own way. Viewers feel an affinity for these two ‘adversaries’ who are victims of their own circumstance.
All in all, Forgotten was a dark and sinister tale of two innocents who unwittingly become victims of a cruel twist of fate — two pure hearts who are tested by destiny until their paths once again cross. Forgotten was aptly named, and perfectly executed an elaborate plot that remained consistent from start to finish. It told the story of how far once can go in the pursuit of justice. The excellent direction by Jang Hang Jun (who also wrote the script) was perfectly complemented by the strong performances of Kang Ha Neul and Kim Moo Yul to come out with what, in my opinion, is one of the best Korean movies I’ve seen.