What Is the Story About?
Unlocked follows the life of an ordinary office worker after she loses her smartphone containing all her personal information. She gets stalked and begins to face threats in her daily life. How she deals with this harassment and what lies behind the stalker forms the crux of the film.
Chun Woo Hee and Im Si Wan are the only good takeaways from the film. Chun Woo Hee nails the desperation, fear and made-up mental strength of Lee Na-mi. Her chemistry with the actor who played her father is really heartwarming. Im Si Wan on the other hand is an unhinged menacing villain. As a creepy stalker as well as a scary serial killer, he is just effortless even when the writing goes haywire.
Written and directed by Kim Tae-joon in his directorial debut, Unlocked follows Lee Na-mi, a cheerful and happy-go-lucky woman who loses her smartphone and then gets it back only to realise she was getting hacked and eventually stalked. The furore that this causes in Na-mi’s life opens a can of worms.
Unlocked opens to a cheerful Na-mi who seems to have a happy going life and an amazing work-life balance. She has everything, from a supportive best friend to an empowering and caring father. But all hell breaks lose when she loses her smartphone. Her phone gets picked up by a hacker who pretends to befriend her later on. She loses her job and the stalker outs himself as an obsessive serial killer.
Unlocked doesn’t have anything fresh to tell per se. Neither is the story new, nor the treatment. It’s the actors doing all the heavy-lifting and managing to engage the audience even when the story goes for a toss. Chun Woo Hee and Im Si Wan are specifically absolutely amazing in their roles. The supporting cast also anchors the main leads well.
At one point, Unlocked tries to establish itself as a thesis and anti-thesis to parenthood, or so I thought. Quite surprisingly, one would totally not expect this level of maturity from a writing this silly and amateurish. But then, boom! It’s all down the drain with that absolutely dismal climax. Not only is the third act over-stretched, it’s also visibly out of content. This happens when the writing department is desperate to end the film somehow, just because they don’t have a climax in mind.
To put it short, Unlocked doesn’t offer anything new. But has few interesting moments and is very well enacted. If you are running out of recommendations for a boring week-day watch, may be give Unlocked a try.
Kim Hee Won who plays the detective is a stunning addition to the film’s cast. He plays the vulnerability of a guilt-tripped father and the grit of a dutiful detective smoothly. Park Ho-San who plays Na-mi’s father is another scene-stealer. He doesn’t have enough scenes per se, but one could really feel the warmth of a lovely yet fearful parent on his face.
Music and Other Departments?
Neither the music, nor the cinematography of Unlocked makes a mark. For a serial killer themed film, the score is supposed to aid the proceedings. One can’t see anything significant from Unlocked.
Chun Woo Hee & Im Si Wan’s performances
Score and Cinematography
Did I Enjoy It?
Not much, but very selectively
Will You Recommend It?
Yes. With Huge Reservations
Unlocked Movie Review by Binged Bureau