Helpless - Korean Movie
Current user rating: 84/100 (70 votes)
- Movie: Helpless (English title)
- Revised romanization: Hwacha
- Hangul: 화차
- Director: Byun Young-Joo
- Writer: Miyuki Miyabe (novel), Byun Young-Joo
- Producer: Shin Hye-Eun, Oh Ki-Min
- Cinematographer: Kim Dong-Young
- Release Date: March 8, 2012
- Runtime: 117 min.
- Genre: Mystery / Award Winning
- Distributor: CJ Entertainment
- Language: Korean
- Country: South Korea
A woman suddenly disappears. Her fiance then sets out to find her and, in the process, uncovers layers of dark hidden secrets.
One month prior to Moon-Ho (Lee Sun-Kyun) and Sun-Young's (Kim Min-Hee) wedding, they take a road trip to Andong. Moon-Ho plans to formally introduce his fiance to his parents. Along the way to Andong, they pull over at a highway rest stop. Moon-Ho goes inside, while Sun-Young waits in the car. When Moon-Ho arrives back at his car, he discovers that his fiance has now completely disappeared. Frantic, Moon-Ho looks all over the rest stop and then files a missing person report with the police. Moon-Ho then drives back to Seoul and goes to Sun-Young's small studio apartment. Inside her apartment, Moon-Ho discovers that her apartment has been completely emptied. Moon-Ho then receives a phone call.
The phone call is from a friend that explains that he called Sun-Young and asked about bankruptcy filing from her past. While he asked her about the bankruptcy, Sun-Young abruptly hung up the phone and has not answered her phone. Moon-Ho then goes to the legal office where Sun-Young filed the bankruptcy papers. He looks through her documents and spots a photo of the woman that filed the bankruptcy paper and it is not the Sun-Young that he knows. Moon-Ho is absolutely shocked and confused. Moon-Ho then looks up Sun-Young's work application and goes through her work references. He contacts the companies listed as her prior employers and discovers that she has never worked for those companies. Now with nowhere to turn and unable to get the police's help, because he doesn't even know who she really is, Moon-Ho turns to his cousin Jong-Geun (Jo Sung-Ha) for help. Jong-Geun is a former cop who lost his job due to taking bribes. Moon-Ho now pleads with his cousin to help him locate his fiance and find out who she really is ...
- Based on the Japanese novel "Kasha" by author Miyuki Miyabe (published July 15, 1992 by Futabasha Publishers). Novel was translated into English in 1999 and published under the title of "All She Was Worth".
- Filming took 3 months from July 8 -September 23, 2011. Filming locations took place in Seoul, Jinhae, Mashan, Changwon & Jecheon, South Korea.
- Korean title Hwacha means literally "freight train bed" or "wagon".
- Character poster featuring lead actress Kim Min-Hee exposing her bare back was deemed too risque by the Korea Media Rating Board on February 8, 2012 and will not allowed to be used for the promotion of the film.
- Movie opened #1 at the Korean box office selling 607,080 tickets on 547 screens during its March 9-11 opening weekend. For its second weekend of release, "Helpless" stayed #1 selling 561,323 tickets on 521 screens. In two weeks, "Helpless" sold 1,567,211 tickets.
- Related titles:
- Kasha (TV Asahi / 2011)
|Lee Sun-Kyun||Kim Min-Hee||Cho Seong-Ha|
|Jang Moon-Ho||Kang Sun-Young||Kim Jong-Geun|
|Song Ha-Yoon||Cha Soo-Yeon||Choi Deok-Mun||Lee Hee-Joon||Bae Min-Hee|
|Han-Na||Kang Sun-Young||Det. Ha Sung-Sik||Sun-Young's ex-husband||Client from veterinary clinic|
|Kim Tae-In||Kim Min-Jae||Im Ji-Kyu||Kim Sun-Guk||Yang Eun-Yong|
|Park Myung-Shin||Dong-Woo||stalker||Gi-Tae||Gi-Tae's wife|
Additional Cast Members:
- Choi Il-Hwa - Moon-Ho's father
- Park Hae-Joon - loan shark
- Park Sang-Hyun - Yongsan Station detective
- 2012 (47th) Karlovy Vary International Film Festival - June 29-July 7, 2012 - Another View *International Premiere
- 2012 (31st) Vancouver International Film Festival - September 27-October 12, 2012 - Dragons and Tigers
- 2012 (17th) Busan International Film Festival - October 4-13, 2012 - Korean Cinema Today - Panorama
- 2012 (56th) BFI London Film Festival - October 10-21, 2012 - Films in Thrill
- 2012 (7th) Korean Film Festival In Paris - October 30-November 6, 2012 - Landscape