offoffoff film



Site links
  • Contact us

    Get our newsletter:
    Search the site:

    Film section
  • Film main page
  • Film archive
  • Audio index
  • Film links

    Top 10 lists

  • Top 10 films of 2004
    (Andrea, David, Joshua, Leslie)
  • Top 10 films of 2003
    (Andrea, David, Joshua, Leslie)
  • Top 10 films of 2002
  • Top 10 films of 2001
  • Top 10 films of 2000
  • Top 10 films of 1999
  •  All of our top 10 lists, 1999 - 2004

    Current movies

  • Afterschool
  • Antichrist
  • Babies
  • Broken Embraces
  • Dare
  • District 9
  • The End of Poverty?
  • Fix
  • Food Beware
  • The Men Who Stare at Goats
  • Pirate Radio
  • Precious
  • Red Cliff
  • The September Issue


  • Brooklyn International Film Festival
  • Human Rights Watch Film Festival
  • New York Film Festival


    Complete archive

    Recent reviews:
  • (500) Days of Summer
  • Anita O'Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer
  • The Art of the Steal
  • The Beetle
  • Blessed is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh
  • Boy A
  • Brideshead Revisited
  • The Brothers Bloom
  • Burn After Reading
  • Cold Souls
  • The Duchess
  • Elegy
  • Enlighten Up! A Skeptic's Journey Into the World of Yoga
  • Five Minutes of Heaven
  • Flame and Citron
  • Frozen River
  • Happy-Go-Lucky
  • How to Lose Friends & Alienate People
  • The Human Condition
  • Hunger
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • King of Shadows
  • The Lemon Tree
  • Lorna's Silence
  • A Man Named Pearl
  • Man on Wire
  • Memorial Day
  • Mister Foe
  • Morning Light
  • My F├╝hrer
  • My One and Only
  • Paris
  • The Pervert's Guide to Cinema
  • Peter and Vandy
  • Police, Adjective
  • Pray the Devil Back to Hell
  • Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind
  • Rachel Getting Married
  • A Secret
  • Sleep Dealer
  • St. Trinian's
  • Thirst
  • Throw Down Your Heart
  • Valentino: The Last Emperor
  • What's the Matter with Kansas?
  • Wild Grass
  • Jay DiPietro


    Tell Me Something

    "Tell Me Something" good — almost good enough

    The Korean detective thriller "Tell Me Something" has strong characters and a gruesomely intriguing plot but doesn't wrap up its central mystery convincingly.


    (Originally reviewed at the When Korean Cinema Attacks! festival in August 2001.)

    When the bodies start showing up in "Tell Me Something," they do so in unusual fashion indeed. The first one is cut into pieces — and, the medical examiner notes, the pieces aren't all from the same person. That means that there are more unmatched body parts waiting to be discovered. They've all been mutilated to prevent identification, so cops have nothing to go on — until, from the tiniest of clues, the medical examiner (it almost should have been his movie) figures out who one of them is, and the pieces start falling into place.

    Directed by: Yoon-Hyun Chang.
    Written by: Yoon-Hyun Chang, Eun-Ah In.
    Cast: Suk-kyu Han, Eun-ha Shim, Hang-Seon Jang, Jeong-Ah Yeom, Seok-Hwan An, Cheol-Ho Park, Jun-Sang Yu, Hwan-Jun Lee.
    In Korean with English subtitles.
    When Korean Cinema Attacks

    The Isle
    Joint Security Area
    Tell Me Something
    The pieces lead Detective Jo (Han Suk-Kyu) and his partner to a young professional woman, Chae Su-Yeon (Shim Eun-Ha), and it turns out that she dated each of the victims over the years. Somebody has a sick and deadly psychological fixation on Chae's ex-boyfriends, and the bodies will keep piling up until the detectives can figure out who it is or everyone she's ever dated has been carved up.

    Until near the end, "Tell Me Something" is an intense and stylishly made thriller starring a pair of actors who had gained popularity in Korea playing a romantic couple in the completely different "Christmas in August." Shim is particularly good as the anguished woman, wanting to run from the danger lurks around her, knowing that anybody she's ever known could be the vicious killer, and yet forced to confront this horror daily as the police question her again and again for clues.

    However, the film doesn't quite make it to the finish line. First the crime's solution and then a final plot twist seem calculated and unreal — in fact, I'm still trying to figure out how the ending makes sense. Whodunit is no problem but why is pretty implausible. It's a shame because up to a certain point, "Tell Me Something" has both a novel crime-drama concept and solid characters grappling with extraordinary experience.

    SEPTEMBER 14, 2001

    Reader comments on Tell Me Something:

  • what the?!?   from Matt Mazorol, Oct 23, 2002
  • Re: [no subject]   from Hoon, Jan 1, 2003
  • I think I've got some clues   from Leo, Jan 2, 2003
  • Re: I think I've got some clues   from mimi, Jan 14, 2003
  • Re: I think I've got some clues   from Hoon, May 27, 2003
  • "Tell Me Something"   from Alison Shurtleff, Nov 11, 2002
  • Re: [no subject]   from Eddie, Nov 16, 2002
  • Re: [no subject]   from jit, Dec 1, 2002
  • Re: re   from candice, Jul 24, 2003
  • My thoughts   from Alfred E Newman, Feb 4, 2003
  • Re: My thoughts   from Johnny, Feb 11, 2003
  • HUH?!?!??!??!??!?!??!   from kATE, Oct 6, 2003
  • Re: HUH?!?!??!??!??!?!??!   from Spetsnaz, Dec 13, 2003
  • Re: HUH?!?!??!??!??!?!??!   from Darkkon, Jan 15, 2004
  • Re: HUH?!?!??!??!??!?!??!   from Paolo, Jan 24, 2004
  • Re: HUH?!?!??!??!??!?!??!   from Nipsey, Jan 26, 2004
  • Re: HUH?!?!??!??!??!?!??!   from Jackie, May 28, 2004
  • Re: HUH?!?!??!??!??!?!??!   from Lena, Jun 13, 2004
  • Re: HUH?!?!??!??!??!?!??!   from Jess, Aug 21, 2006
  • Re: HUH?!?!??!??!??!?!??!   from Adam, Dec 29, 2006
  • Re: i think someone needs to TELL ME SOMETHING!   from seahorse, Jul 12, 2010
  • My explanation and it works.   from blitzerspectre, Aug 1, 2004
  • close, but still not getting it...   from confused, Aug 19, 2004
  • Re: close, but still not getting it...   from blitzerspectre, Oct 30, 2011
  • and also...   from confused, Aug 19, 2004
  • Re: and also...   from Clea, Apr 21, 2005
  • The Closing Song? (not credited)...   from Tenebrae, Oct 27, 2005
  • Very Good Movie   from Konstantinos, Jun 26, 2006

  • Post a comment on "Tell Me Something"