The incredible sexy actress from Lost, Kim Yun-jin, plays a hotshot lawyer who wins case after case. One day her daughter is kidnapped, and the abductor gives her seven days to win an impossible case to set free a man whose death sentence is practically set or else she will never see the child again. This film was a blockbuster hit in its native land, and has its share of effective twists and thrills. Hollywood had already bought the rights for its remake to U.S. shores. Despite being over 2 hours in length, the movie kept me intrigued to the end. Mainly because even though the film trickles upon a subject that is morally wrong, Seven Days doesn’t point an accusing finger at lawyer’s moral values but focuses instead on the consequences of one’s actions and reactions.
The filmmakers do manage to bring some of the best traits from Hollywood into Korean cinema with the film which is why I see they want to remake it. That in mind, there are flaws, pertaining to the leads. The biggest sore point is that the characters should have been drawn more detailed. However, the movie is filled with the ambiguity of the defendant’s innocence or guilt which makes the twist ending even more shocking. I had no time to consider how the plot clashes with reality in the midst of relentless deadlines.
Production on the movie was halted after the director was fired by the production company over creative differences. This is usually a red flag, but oddly enough the film worked. While all these elements I talked about above play out, there’s a lot to get excited about. Unfortunately, we often get the feeling that the story is artificially bloated. On the outside, it looks like a normal cake and is delicious. But after you eat it, you have a terrible stomach ache. The movie starts off running, but then proceeds to twist and turn like the coherence of a blindfolded man. For all this, though, the big scene that the movie is counting down to – Cheong’s day in court with Yoo defending him – is something of a letdown, twist aside of course. Nitpicks aside, Seven Days is a mix of kidnapping thriller, whodunit and courtroom drama, loaded with red herrings and engaging for the most part.
The flashbacks of the actual murder are also quite violent and bloody, with graphic pictures of the victim nude and bloody almost beyond recognition. This raises the film up from just another boring PG rated fare at the movies. Violence aside the camera does get shaky and unmanagable at time, but thankfully, the film’s premise is somewhat smart and satisfying enough to make me ignore the somewhat shaky camera style in the first half. All in all, we have a good film that is filled to the brim with technical flaws that makes it hard to forgive. In the end I can recommend it though, and anyone who is suffering from Lost withdrawals might want to watch this to see a Lost alumni do her thing.