Cafe Noir

Watch Cafe Noir

  • 2010
  • 3 hr 17 min
  • 7.0  (235)

Cafe Noir is a 2009 South Korean film directed by Jung Sung-il. This detective-mystery movie is set in the late 1940s and follows the life of a private investigator, Young-soo played by Shin Ha-kyun. His life goes downhill after his wife leaves him and he loses his position as a detective at the police department. Young-soo now spends his days residing in a small attic room above a coffee shop, Cafe Noir. He spends most of his time playing chess and listening to music, immersed in his own world. However, his peaceful existence is interrupted one day when a mysterious man, Min-jae played by Kim Tae-woo, approaches him with a request to find his missing girlfriend, Hee-joo played by Moon Jeong-Hee.

Young-soo reluctantly takes up the case, which turns out to be much more complex than he initially thought. Hee-joo's disappearance leads the detective into the depths of the Korean underworld, where he encounters a myriad of characters with shady pasts and hidden motives.

As Young-soo delves deeper into the case, he finds himself becoming increasingly attached to his client, Min-jae, and falling in love with Hee-joo, a woman he's never met. The plot thickens as the protagonists race against time to uncover the truth behind Hee-joo's disappearance.

The movie's name Cafe Noir is derived from the coffee shop that serves as the central location of the story. This black and white themed coffeehouse creates an intimate setting in the movie, which makes the audience feel like they are peeking into a character's private world through a keyhole.

The cinematography of Cafe Noir is noteworthy, especially in the scenes where the camera lingers on Young-soo's face, almost as though it is studying his expressions and the subtleties of his character. Furthermore, the film's score is evocative and has an old-world charm that transports the viewer back to the time period in which the storyline is set.

One thing that sets Cafe Noir apart from other detective movies is its emphasis on character development. The individual journeys of the characters are portrayed thoroughly, and the audience gets to witness the evolution of the protagonists as the movie progresses. The film also explores the theme of loneliness, a prevalent subject in the film noir genre.

Shin Ha-kyun delivers a compelling performance as the protagonist, flawlessly bringing to life the role of Young-soo, the jaded man who is forced to confront his past and his inner demons. Moon Jeong-Hee is impressive in her portrayal of Hee-joo, who is quite an enigma, and the actress who plays Young-soo's landlady, In-sun Jung brings some of the movie's lighter moments.

Overall, Cafe Noir is an excellent film that combines excellent storytelling with stunning cinematography and terrific acting. While not a typical whodunit detective movie, it definitely makes for an engaging watch for those who enjoy a good mystery.

Cafe Noir
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  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    3 hr 17 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.0  (235)