Helpless (2012 film)
|Directed by||Byun Young-joo|
|Produced by||Shin Hye-eun
|Written by||Byun Young-joo|
|Based on||All She Was Worth
by Miyabe Miyuki
|Music by||Kim Hong-jib|
|Edited by||Park Gok-ji|
|Distributed by||CJ E&M|
Helpless (Hangul: 화차; RR: Hwa-cha) is a 2012 South Korean psychological mystery/thriller written and directed by Byun Young-joo based on the bestselling novel All She Was Worth (火車 Kasha?, lit. "one-way train/fire chariot to hell") by Japanese writer Miyabe Miyuki.
South Korea, 2009. A few days before their wedding, veterinarian Jang Mun-ho (Lee Sun-kyun) and his fiancee Kang Seon-yeong (Kim Min-hee) pull over for coffee at a motorway rest stop on the way to visiting his parents in Andong, southeast of Seoul. However, when Mun-ho returns to the car, Seon-yeong has disappeared and is not reachable on her mobile phone. All he can find is a hairpin in the rest stop's toilet. From the mess at her flat in Seoul, it looks as if there has been a break-in. Mystified, Mun-ho then learns from a banker friend, Dong-woo (Kim Min-jae), that Seon-yeong had earlier applied for a bank account but had been turned down when it was discovered she had a history of personal bankruptcy dating back to 2007. Investigating her debt history, Mun-ho finds she had been using someone else's name and identity. He persuades his cousin, Kim Jong-geun (Jo Sung-ha), a former police detective sacked for taking bribes, to help find her. Examining her flat, Jong-geun finds she left no fingerprints, had no friends and claimed her mother died two years ago. It then turns out that the woman (Cha Soo-yeon) whose identity she assumed two years ago had a debt history and has since vanished. Visiting Seon-yeong's hometown, Jong-geun hears rumors she killed her mother for her insurance money. Seon-yeong's real name is, in fact, Cha Gyeong-seon, and Jong-geun and Mun-ho realize she is now looking to take on another woman's identity. They think they know her possible target.
- Kim Min-hee ... Kang Seon-yeong/Cha Gyeong-seon
- Lee Sun-kyun ... Jang Mun-ho
- Jo Sung-ha ... Kim Jong-geun
- Kim Byul ... Han-na
- Cha Soo-yeon ... the real Kang Seon-yeong
- Choi Deok-mun ... Police detective Ha Seong-shik
- Lee Hee-joon ... Noh Seung-ju, Gyeong-seon's ex-husband
- Kim Min-jae ... Lee Dong-woo
- Choi Il-hwa ... Mun-ho's father
- Bae Min-hee ... Client from veterinary clinic
- Im Ji-kyu ... Stalker
Helpless debuted at No. 1 on the weekend box office, only three days after its premiere on March 8, attracting 607,463 moviegoers and grossing ₩4.7 million between March 9 and 11. It topped the chart for two consecutive weeks, selling 561,666 tickets between March 16 and 18, according to KOBIS (Korean Box Office Information System). It was the twelfth most-watched Korean film of 2012, with 2,436,400 tickets sold.
Awards and nominations
2012 Buil Film Awards
- Best Actress - Kim Min-hee
- Nomination - Best Film
- Nomination - Best Director - Byun Young-joo
- Nomination - Best Supporting Actor - Jo Sung-ha
2012 Korean Culture and Entertainment Awards
- Excellence Award, Actor in a Film - Jo Sung-ha
2012 Women in Film Korea Awards
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- "Now Showing". The Korea Times. 8 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
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- Suk, Monica (12 March 2012). "Thriller Helpless debuts at No. 1 on weekend box office". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- Suk, Monica (19 March 2012). "Helpless leads box office for second consecutive week". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- Hong, Lucia (9 April 2012). "Korean movies notch up higher number in 1Q ticket sales". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- Oh, Mi-jung (4 May 2012). "The Helpless to be Released in Six Different Cities in the North America". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- Kwon, Mee-yoo (27 April 2012). "Kim Soo-hyun wins Paeksang awards". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
- "Byun Young-joo Picked as Director of the Year by Female Film Critics". The Chosun Ilbo. 5 December 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
- Kim, Hyun-min (6 December 2012). "BYUN Young-joo Selected as the Woman Filmmaker of 2012". Korean Film Council. Retrieved 2012-12-15.