New Trial – A Movie Based On True Story
Lee Joon-young (Jung Woo) was a lawyer who only took cases for money. The cases that he took at the time turned out badly and he ended up in a ton of financial debt. That also made the people who put their trust in him to defend their rights hated him, accusing him of lying and even his wife and daughter left him.
Desperate for work, Joon-young asked his friend, Mo Chang-hwan (Lee Dong-hwi) for a favor. Joon-young wanted to work in the prestigious law firm called Themis where Chang-hwan was working in. And after meeting the boss of Themis, Joon-young was given a shot on the job with the agreement that he solve Hyun Woo’s case.
Hyun Woo (Kang Ha Neul) was an ordinary teenager who worked in a restaurant for extra pocket money. One day after work, he was riding his motorcycle while trying to light his cigarette. With his attention not fully on the road, he ended up almost hitting a stranger who was standing in the middle of the street. Luckily, he was able to react fast enough and avoided hitting the stranger.
When the police arrived, the stranger was long gone. However, the police found a taxi cab just idling in the side of the street, and what was more surprising was that the police found out that the cab driver has been stabbed to death. With Hyun Woo being the only person on the scene and the police having no interest in finding the real killer, they beat and force Hyun Woo to confess to a crime he didn’t do.
Lee Joon-young was a very self-centered and egoistic lawyer. He didn’t care at all about justice nor did he cared about the client that he was defending. All he cares about was how much money he would be earning. When he landed on Hyun Woo’s case, he couldn’t care less about Hyun Woo’s innocence, frankly put, he didn’t care about the case at all. The only reason he accepted the case was because he was desperate for work and the boss of Themis gave this case to him as a chance for him to prove himself.
Hyun Woo who was just out of a 10 years of jail time for something that he didn’t do, despised anything and everything that has to do with justice and the law. And when he saw Joon-young standing in front of his house in his meticulous suit, informing Hyun Woo that he would represent him in court and would try to clear his name, Hyun Woo took a pitchfork and told Joon-young to leave as he has no money to pay a lawyer.
By this time, Joon-young was angry and was ready to give up on the case, but for the sake of getting a job in Themis, he decided to give it another try. And when he tried to talk to Hyun Woo again, eventhough Hyun Woo was still uncertain about Joon-young’s real purpose, he started to open up. Hyun Woo started to divulge his side of the story, he told Joon-young everything that happened that night.
At first, Joon-young find it hard to believe that Hyun Woo was framed as what he said totally contradicted with what was written in his files. And the case was so long ago – 10 years – and he wanted to just be done with the case as soon as he could and move on. But as he continue to ask more and more questions, it became clear that the was something really wrong that was going on. He started to question if what was written in Hyun Woo’s file was the truth.
Joon-young, who didn’t care about justice or his client before, stared to feel intrigued. And the more he dug into the past, the more invested he got with the case. That was when he decided that he was going to truly represent Hyun Woo in his case and would try to dig up as much evidence as he could to appeal for another trial. For once, Joon-young stopped thinking about how much money he would earn or would not earn, and found himself truly wanting to solve the case and help clear Hyun Woo’s name.
New Trial was definitely one of those underrated movies that deserve more attention and spotlight. Because not only this movie has a really good plotting, the acting was also very riveting. It was rare for a movie to be able to grab my attention and be able to hold it from start to finish, but this movie had no problem doing just that. Immediately as soon as I started the movie, I was already captivated and pulled into the story. When I watch movies, there are bound to be some parts where I feel like it was boring and draggy, but I didn’t recall myself feeling that way at all throughout the movie.
It was truly awe-inspiring to see Joon-young’s character change from a lawyer who was driven by greed and only pick up cases only if it benefits him, to someone who truly was passionate in what he did and set on wanting to defend Hyun Woo and reveal the truth.
To know that this movies was based on true story was honestly heartbreaking. In this movie, the viewers were able to see firsthand how damaging it was to falsely accuse someone for a crime that they did not commit. In the real life incident, “Hyun Woo” was forced to confess and sent to jail when he was 15 years old. He came out 10 years later and spent another 6 years trying to get his life back together, and was only able to get a retrial 16 years after that incident.