Wide-Awake (2012)

Wide-Awake Poster

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"Wide-Awake" is a 2012 South Korean movie directed by Gil-seong, featuring a spectacular efficiency by Kim Myung-min. The movie is a remarkable thriller that fixates the style of insomnolence and regret, both individual and expert, embodied by the primary protagonist. The story articulates the perversion of justice, manipulation of the law, and the subtle expedition of human morality.

"Wide-Awake" follows the life of Ryu Jin-ho, an effective neurologist played by Kim Myung-min. One day, Ryu is involved in a ruthless hit-and-run accident that leaves a guy dead. Instead of admitting to his crime, Ryu manipulates the evidence and sets the suspicion towards an innocent man called Kang who was likewise at the scene during the mishap.

This causes Kang, an insomniac and currently suspect character to the law enforcement, getting wrongfully implicated and later convicted of the hit and run crime. As Kang has a hard time to prove his innocence, Ryu, on the other hand, enjoys his life pretending to be a do-gooder to the general public despite knowing that he is the genuine perpetrator.

Dispute and Resolution
Nevertheless, life begins to take a twisted turn when Ryu starts experiencing bouts of insomnia, which he at first credits to stress or regret. These consecutive sleepless nights result in the deterioration of his expert life and personal relationships. Concurrently, as Kang struggles in jail without succumbing to the pressures of being mistakenly founded guilty, he incomes a war to prove his innocence and expose Ryu.

Ryu's life gets even more made complex when he is detected with fatal familial sleeping disorders, a very uncommon illness which makes it impossible for him to sleep. There is no recognized treatment for this disease, and this medical diagnosis marks the beginning of his failure. Confronted with quickly declining sanity due to severe sleep deprivation and his guilt for the criminal offense he devoted, Ryu lastly understands the true scary of insomnia that Kang has actually been experiencing due to his falsified actions.

In a tragic turn of events, Ryu's life starts to fall apart due to his debilitating medical condition and emerging guilt. He is unable to bear the remorse of his unpunished criminal activity and chooses to confess to his malicious deeds publicly, causing the subsequent release of Kang.

In the end, "Wide-Awake" provides a chilling look at the power and perversion of guilt, and how it molds one's fate, especially when laced with the course of justice. Through a gripping storyline and poignant performance, the movie concerns the very framework of morality, the possibility of redemption, and the limitations of human endurance when sleep becomes an unattainable luxury.

Final Thoughts
"Wide-Awake" is a compelling film that explores the heavy problem of guilt and repercussions of one's action. It provides a deep and reflective look into a man's descent into insanity due to insomnia and regret. The movie's success lies in the excellent performance by its lead actor, Kim Myung-min, who convincingly represents a man torn in between maintaining his successful façade and living with the guilt of triggering another guy's suffering. The high drama, extreme thriller, and impressive acting make "Wide-Awake" a must-watch for fans of Korean movie theater.

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