One of the most popular sub-genre of thrillers is the courtroom drama, and Korea’s The Client is a nice example of how the twists and turns can build suspense until even the audience doesn’t know what to think. Anchored by awesome actor Ha Jung-woo (하중우 loved him in The Terror Live), this thriller starts with a bang and doesn’t let up.
One thing that sets this one apart is that the defense lawyer has people working for him who do things on their own that he keeps telling them not to do and it complicates his case and almost gets him disbarred. The defendant is a little similar to Ed Norton in Primal Fear (one of the best courtroom thrillers EVER!). There’s even a bit at the end that totally rips off another courtroom movie, but I can’t remember which one. Since there’s no body found, the defense attorney says the dead woman is going to walk in the back door when he counts to three…of course everyone looks except his client. I know I’ve seen that somewhere else, but I can’t remember where.
Anyway, this one is a bit long, but that’s nothing for Korean movies. They like them long. There’re all the usual tropes: the witness who can’t speak or is afraid to testify, missing video footage, corrupt higher officials trying to use their influence to persuade the judges, and the prosecuting attorney with a personal axe to grind against the client.
The pacing is nice and even and the acting is excellent. Give yourself a treat and give this one a watch!