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The Suicide Forecast


With a title like The Suicide Forecast, I really had no idea what to expect, especially when the cover art makes it look like a comedy. But this isn't a comedy, it's a South Korean drama film that turned out to be a pretty dang good movie. It's about Byeong-wu, an ex-baseball player turned insurance salesman who is about to get huge promotion into a different department (or could have been a whole new job, I wasn't entirely clear on that part, but it really doesn't matter, just that he's about to become an elite and make a whole lot more money). This promotion is pretty much a done deal and is going to happen in a month... but a lot can happen in a month.

One of Byeong-wu's clients ends up commiting suicide, and it's known that the client met with Byeong-wu shortly before the suicide, so questions are raised about what was discussed and if Byeong-wu had knowledge that his client might have been prepairing to take his own life. As the pending investigation looms forward, he confesses to his close friend and current boss that he previously sold life insurance to a few suicide survivors. The catch here is that if any of them die after two years then the insurance will pay out (assuming it's not an obvious suicide), and that two year deadline is only two weeks away. So now Byeong-wu must visit with each of them and try to convince them to turn their life insurance policy into a retirement policy.

The problem is, each of his clients are seriously struggling in life and seem to be in a place much closer to suicide than to making it all the way to retirement. There's a single mother of four kids working extremely hard just to put food on the table while her eldest daughter seems to hate her for being so poor, and young lady struggling to be a musician who lives in a broken down bus with a kid, and young dude who has Tourette Syndrome that lives in a subway station who has a hard time finding any work because of his condition, and then a middle aged guy that feels like his family doesn't care about him at all.

Slowly throughout the movie Byeong-wu goes through a transformation, from caring only about himself and his career to caring about all these people, and the dude that plays Byeong-wu is fantastic. The transformation of the character is gradual, but also there are scenes where you can see his internal conflict, where his personality switches back and forth between what he wants and his feelings for these people, and it's a treat to watch. The other actors are good too, but the dude playing Byeong-wu really shines.

The DVD art (front and back) may make this look like a comedy, and there are some humorous moments, but I definitely wouldn't classify it in that genre. It's still a great movie and definitely worth checking out. The film clocks in at about 2 hours though it doesn't feel long at all. The DVD contains some extras, including a lot of behind the scenes footage and a short featurette about the main characters. There there's also a trailer and cast & crew bios.

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