Memories of Murder – ending scene / Cinematography

 

 

The above video is the ending scene of Bong Joon-ho‘s second movie Memories of Murder. The movie follows the investigation of the first serial killer in South Korea.

In the first shot of the last scene the protagonist has wandered away from the main road, on which he has been going to the dirt road. This can be seen as the protagonist revisiting the past. The predominant colour in the scene is yellow. Even though a warm colour it can be connected with death, the grass turns from green to yellow, it could symbolize a change. The focus goes on the ditch, where the first victim was found. The shot of the ditch consist of a frame within a frame. After the girl appears the angels of the shots on both characters are different. The camera looks down from the girl to the protagonist, while when it swithes to the girl it looks up from the protagonist. In that way we are given perspective of how the characters are positioned to each other. After the girl mentions, possibly the murder, the shot changes from close up to a picture, in which both characters stand still, speachless, with only the wind moving the grass in the shot. That shot shows the moment of realization that has come to the protagonist. this shot is followed by close ups of the characters with the main focus being on them, because what is more important than the conversation between the girl and the protagonist is their reaction to what they say. Bong Joon-ho focuses on their facial expressions as they talk about the killer. When the girl tells the protagonist that the murderer was just like any other, her facial expression confirms her words, as she doesn’t look disturbed while talking about him. After that line in the next shot the character stares at the direction of the girl, in his stare we can see how the protagonist turns disturbed and desperate from the girl’s comment on the murderer. For a brief moment we are shown the raction of the girl of the impact of her comment on the protagonist. In the closing shot the protagonist turns to the camera and looks at it with a desparate stare. The last bit of the ending shot can be interpreted in different ways. Why did Bong Joon-ho end his movie with the protagonist staring at the audience. It could be because of the earlier in the movie mention technique of the protagonist to be able to tell if a person is guilty simply just by looking at him. He performs his technique on he viewers, among whom could be the murderer himself.

Sources:

https://www.quora.com/What-does-it-signify-in-the-movie-Memories-of-Murder-2003-when-at-the-end-the-little-girl-says-he-was-normal-translated-from-korean-of-course

http://theasiancinemablog.com/cinema-of-south-korea/memories-of-murder-movie-review/

https://pypaik.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/the-scandal-of-bong-joon-hos-memories-of-murder/

https://pima1963.wordpress.com/2015/07/25/the-face-of-a-killer-bong-joon-hos-memories-of-murder/

 

 

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