Thursday, May 11, 2023


 Good vs. evil is a common movie theme.  "Queenmaker" (2023) reminds me of "House of Cards"(2013-2018), with one difference being the focus is on two females with two male antagonists (and another female).  Plenty of twists.

This is about a disillusioned and guilty fixer eventually working with an idealistic lawyer.  Demonstrates it is possible for some people to make a drastic change.

The fixer, Hwang Do-hee, orchestrates lots of details mostly behind the scene for the Eun Corporation chaired by Son Young-sim.  The two of them are manipulative in their pursuit of profits with scant attention to morals (only about the appearance).  

Hwang Do-hee was asked to deal with an annoying lawyer, Oh Kyung-sook protesting on a rooftop against Eun's dismissal of several employees.  Her efforts are not successful.  About the same time she is requested to deal with a potential family scandal which she brutally sets out to do.  But it turns out to be offensive to her and she refuses to finish it.  This is not acceptable to Seo-jin and eventually Hwang Do-hee quits and pays a price with her father being denied medical treatment and losing her company condo.

Revenge is on her mind and she recalls her encounter with Oh Kyung-sook and to be honest sees her as an instrument and talks her into running for mayor of Seoul.  Along the way she seems to genuinely become more compassionate.  It turns out one of the opponents is the son in law of Son Young-sim, Baek Jae Min who the viewer will recall was the unsavory antagonist behind the potential family scandal.  There are many dirty tricks against the uppity lawyer, but Hwang Do-hee is a master and saves a few of her own tricks.

The ending has a twist of course, but you should wait until after the election results to more fully appreciate the plot.  It also hints at the possibility of a sequel.

Some of the key contributors who keep your attention riveted.

Oh Jin Suk was the director with 6 film credits.

Moon Ji Young was the writer with 3 film credits.

Here is some fabulous music I bought for my collection:

Yang Dong-yeop was the editor with 8 film credits.

Kim Hee-ae played Hwang Do-hee, the Queenmaker, alternating from a cold blooded fixer and a compassionate political advisor.  She is a prolific award winner and has taught acting at Sawan Science University from 1996.  She has 20 film credits. One interesting note is she played the leading character in  a remake of "Doctor Foster" titled "The World of the Married" (2020).  

Moon So-ri plays Oh Kyung-sook, an idealistic lawyer convinced to run for Mayor of Seoul.  She wants to do the right thing even if it hurts her prospects.  So-ri has 40 film credits including "The Handmaiden" (2016).  She is another prolific winner of national awards.  She has also directed and written two scripts.

Ryu Soo-Young plays the despicable Baek Jae Min.  He has 24 film credits including "The Attorney" (2013).

Seo Yi Sook plays another evil character, Son Young-sim the chairwoman of the Eun Corporation.  She has a very extensive theatre background including a lot of awards.  She has over 15 film credits including "Under the Queen's Umbrella" (2022).  Check:

Lee Kyung-Young played a clever fixer for Baek Jae Min.  He has 114 film credits including "Misaeng" (2014), "Assassination" (2015), "The Beauty Inside" (2016), "Misty" (2018), "Hyena" (2020) and "Vincenzo" (2021).  

Ok Ja-yeon played the replacement for Hwang Do-hee at the Eun Corporation.  She was also a manipulative, evil character who had an affair with Baek Jae Min.  She started in theatre in 2012 and has had a dozen roles.  She has 27 film roles including "The Age of Shadows" (2016), "Burning" (2017) and "Under the Queen's Umbrella" (2022). 

In the process of researching for this blog I discovered that Wikipedia is a better source of more accurate information on Korean films.

Dubbed and subtitled versions available on Netflix

As usual I have bolded the first mention of films I have seen.

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