Perfect Number (2012)
May 5, 2023 6:53 AM - Subscribe

An isolated math teacher helps his neighbor escape suspicion when her abusive husband is murdered.

Suk-go is a withdrawn math teacher who has made a tentative connection with his new neighbor, Hwa-Sun and her adopted daughter Yoon-ah, who he can hear through their shared apartment wall. Unfortunately, Suk-go's abusive ex finds their new apartment and shows up. In desperation, the two women kill the ex and Suk-go hears it all and offers to help them escape suspicion. Desperate to protect her daughter, Hwa-Sun accepts his help. But how far will Suk-go actually go to protect these women? And what does he want in exchange?

Suk-go's former classmate, dogged detective Min-Bum is assigned to the case and is convinced, despite the evidence, that Hwa-Sun is guilty of murdering her ex. He refuses to stop investigating even when Suk-go warns him that, "Even if you solve this, no one will be happy."

Based on Japanese mystery writer Keigo Higashino's 2005 novel "Yogisha X no Kenshin" ("The Devotion of Suspect X").
posted by miss-lapin (1 comment total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Enjoyed this one as well. This is a love story masquerading as a thriller, but it's a sad one.

The source material is part of the Detective Galileo series-four books so far with the last being in 2018. The series focuses on Physics professor Manabu Yukawa, affectionately known as Detective Galileo, helping to solve the string of impossible-to-prove murders. However, he makes no appearance in this movie and is replaced by Detective Min-Bum who is a dogged cop who refuses to give up on solving the mystery of what happened. There is a symbolic parallel here between Min-Bum's continued investigation and Suk-go's desire to solve an ancient mathematics problem. As Suk-go warns his former classmate, no one will be happy even if he solves the mystery. The same goes with Suk-go. The only thing that gives him happiness is the very tentative human connection he has made.

So the movie itself parallels their struggle. After all, murder mysteries are about resolution. But revealing the hidden details don't make anyone, including the audience, happier. It just deepens the sadness of what happened.

Probably would NOT pair well "Decision to Leave" unless you just want to spend the weekend on the floor sobbing.
posted by miss-lapin at 7:11 AM on May 5 [2 favorites]

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