Pluto

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(2012) ★★★

Film4: PREMIERE Friday 13 November, 1.40am

Outsiders are not encouraged to join the Rabbit Hunt, an elite study group at an exclusive Seoul boarding school. Certainly not a working-class scholarship boy like Kim Jun (David Lee). “We don’t let just anybody in,” his unfriendly roommate Yujin Taylor (Sung-Jun) tells him. “You have to be crazy first.”

The Rabbit Hunt houses the school’s fiercely competitive Top 10 students. Taylor, raised in America, is No.1. Or was. The police are questioning Jun about the boy’s murder. Sullen and unhelpful, Jun shows no remorse, shouting only about his rights.

The police are stonewalled by the school principal too – one student’s death shouldn’t be allowed to affect the others, not when exams are so close: “This is no time to make a fuss.” Teacher turned film-maker Shin Su-won clearly thinks Korea’s elitist education system cuts a bit deeper than Whispering Corridors. 

We’re shown a despicable act and then extensive non-chronological flashbacks fill in the gaps. Unfolding like one of those crazy American campus stories, there’s little of The Skulls’ melodramatic cheesiness. It’s more insidious and psychologically acute, up to a point.

But, when push comes to shove, does it have the courage of Jun’s convictions? Like Groucho Marx said, I wouldn’t want to join any club that would have me as a member.

Certificate: 15

Duration: 114min

IMDB – Pluto

TMDB – Pluto

Rotten Tomatoes – Pluto