4th Period Mystery

Director:  Lee Sang-yong
Year: 2009
Rating: 6.0

A.K.A. - The Clue

This lightweight Korean crime-comedy-high school romance film fights above its weight level with its spunky leads, rapid fire plotting, off-beat quirky moments and some clever cinematic angles. It goes down very easily but you have to admit there isn't much substantial really there. Once the crime is solved, it becomes apparent that it was the getting there that mattered as opposed to the who and why.

If Korean films depict high school with any degree of accuracy, be happy if you didn't go to one. Constant yelling from the teachers, using a stick to whack late students, Olympic Mean Girls, nerds eaten up like lunch meat, blackmail, camera shots up skirts, the nasty psycho guys and of course murder. All of that is squeezed into this 80 minute film fairly early on.

The school jerk is found stabbed to death in an empty classroom by Jung-hoon (Yoo Seung-ho) who had fought with him earlier on. Like all people seem to in this situation he immediately picks up the knife, gets his fingerprints on it and blood on his hands and clothes. You would think we would all know better by now. If you find a dead body - immediately back away and run like hell. He knows he is dead meat - suspect number 1 - but fortunately for him the girl nicknamed "Curtain" for the way she covers her face with her long black hair like a ghost from Ju-on discovers him standing there.

She is an obsessive mystery and crime enthusiast who stays up all night reading and sleeps during class. The school weirdo. Also a burgeoning Sherlock Holmes as she looks around the room, at the stab wounds and immediately concludes that he is innocent. She also has a secret crush on him and decides to solve the crime with his help. And it has to be done in 40 minutes before the class will be filled with students and a dead body. So they begin running around looking for clues. A lot of running. And it is charming, cute, amusing and fast. The two are clearly made for one another as they both have eyebrows so thick a caterpillar would be envious and not too surprisingly when the hair is pulled back she is a knockout.