DVD Hoa-cha

DVD Hoa-cha
DVD Hoa-cha

Run time: 117 min
Rating: 6.7
Genres: Mystery | Thriller
Director: Young-Joo Byun
Writers: Young-Joo Byun, Miyuki Miyabe
Stars: Seon-gyun Lee, Min-hee Kim, Seong-ha Jo
A man searches for his fiancée who vanished without a trace just before their wedding ceremony, only to discover the shocking identity of her.
Plot Keywords: missing person, foreign language adaptation, based on novel
Country: South Korea
Release Date: 8 March 2012 (South Korea)


  1. I watched this film not knowing anything about the plot. I think that was a good thing. The less you know the better in this case. If you are considering watching it, stop reading and just go, it's great. All I will tell you is that the movie is an excellent mystery thriller. While the themes can be violent or sad, it's not over the top or gratuitous. The impact comes from the way the story is revealed, piece by piece. The acting, I thought, was excellent. I only guessed one part of the mystery, otherwise the rest of the time I was glued trying to work out the answers. I know a film is good, when afterward I feel like the character were real, and this film gave me that sense of realism. A litte more character development and background would have been nice, as the pace gets going really early on. Otherwise fantastic Korean thriller that is well worth checking out.

  2. this is one of those movies that you know the characters didn't end the same as when they began. as more the film reveals its interesting plot, as more we get attached do all characters, who have different motivations and effectively sound as real people. the story line reminds me of french movie "ne le dis a personne" and also Canadian film "incendies" (mostly because of the flashbacks) but it has a value of its own.

    if you want a good thriller, with characters you can sympathize, and a good intriguing plot (i think everyone wants) i really would recommend this for you. just don't expect to leave the movie with a smile on your face. i didn't. but it was a very good ride.


    Helpless is a 2012 Korean movie that somewhat got lost in the wash of a number of other Asian mystery/thriller/crime films that year. It's a low key tale that takes its time going from point A to point B, but, it is a pretty effective story that makes for an entertaining & worthwhile watch IMO.

    Story: Successful veterinarian takes a liking to a pretty kind girl who frequents his animal clinic. They date, fall in love, and decide to get married. On the way to meet his parents, the young bride-to-be suddenly vanishes in broad daylight after receiving a seemingly innocuous phone call about some credit debt. Distraught and fearful that his love has been abducted, or worse, our young male protagonist sets out to search for her and find out what happened.

    The vet who's searching for his missing fiancé is played by Lee Seon-Gyun. He does a really nice job of portraying the desperate and "helpless" man trying to find his love. He'll do whatever he needs to solve the mystery using his smarts & determination, and, by roping in various friends & acquaintances who can help him along the way. The friends & acquaintances who help him in the supporting roles all give solid performances (particularly so in regards to his Vet assistant, and, even more so in regards to the washed up former police detective friend of his).

    As the efforts to solve the fiancés disappearance unfold, it becomes more and more clear that this woman was not who she claimed to be. The fiancé is played by Kim Min-Hie…I've never really been a huge fan of her work in the past…I never hated her performances either, but, she's always struck me as a somewhat distant or disengaged person (and actress), or what have you. She absolutely rocks this role though, and makes for one downright (potentially) scary antagonist. Most of her scenes are smartly done via flashbacks and various speculations & re-imaginations, so you never get to know who her true character until the pieces of the story puzzle eventually start to fall in place…In the meantime, she gets a lot of juicy set pieces to act out (in which she is often incredibly effective).

    As the story unfolds, it's just a matter of following along to figure out what is exactly going on with all the characters involved, and where the story is headed as a result. Can the Vet find/save his fiancé???, is the fiancé really evil???, what will happen???, etc, etc…

    There you have it…Frankly, I think this flick is a bit underrated and under appreciated…I ain't saying it's great or anything, but, I did find it to be a very watchable and entertaining diversion…It's worth checking out!

    A solid 7 out of 10 stars!

  4. Helpless is based on a novel "KASHA" by Japanese author Miyuki Miyabe that was released in English as "All She Was Worth".

    A veterinarian Jang Mun-ho (Lee Seon-gyun) and his fiancée Kang Sun-young (Kim Min-hee) on the way to visiting his parents and Sun-young disappears from the car at a coffee shop, leaving no trace for anyone except a hairpin in the rest stop's toilet. Eventually we discover many things when Mun-ho and his detective cousin Jong-geun (Seong-ha Jo) dig deepper into her disappearance, doubts increase and they get closer to uncovering another shocking truth about Seon-yeong with lots of turns and twists.

    The emotional quotient plays a counterpart and insinuates beautifully. The use of flashbacks and disclosures is wonderful. Lead actors have done a pure justice to their roles and details of investigation are brilliant. Setting is nice and cinematography is impeccable. However, some scenes may be unnecessary and some editing is required.

    Korean cinema is very inventive with regards to the suspense and thriller genre and "Helpless" is one of the examples. The script is very good however the plot and characters need a bit development lack sometimes.

    It is absolutely worth to check out this one by all means.


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