Hindsight mysteriously and powerfully opens with Doo-Hun (Song Kang-Ho) being assassinated pointblank by Se-Bin (Sin Se-Kyun), the entertainingly intense soundtrack, consisting primarily of a piano, immersing the viewer in the moment, that is as eye catching as it is beautifully filmed, colors being exceptionally used over the course of the feature, not only visually, but during conversations too. From this opening, we are eager to discover the identities of the two people we recently met, and what relationship they had prior to the shooting. Consisting of themes present in dramas, actions, thrillers and romance, Hindsight is a film that does not belong to one particular genre, but does an extraordinary job of bringing each of these varying narrative styles together. Although not all of the sub-plots are essentially concluded, and despite there being at least one moment in the feature that doesn't entirely make sense, these small, lacking details do not take away from the enjoyment Hindsight is sure to provide.
Although still connected to members of the world he once inhabited, the genuine, handsome and likable Doo-Hun is perhaps not the kind of man one would suspect was once a promising legend in the mob world. Returning to Busan to learn culinary, his dream of opening a restaurant by the sea remains foremost in his mind, even after the discovery that his old friend, and recent gang leader, was killed, though this does not halter his desire to find out who was responsible, believing the attack was a meticulously executed assassination. He invests his loyal bodyguard One Eye (Chun Jung-Myung), whose unflinching dedication is well articulated, to investigate, only to discover a wealth of corruption. With no desire to take the reins of the organization, Doo-Hun is caught in the politics of the mob world, many of his former partners believing the transitions that need to occur will go smoother, if Doo-Hun went the way of the former mob boss.
Se-Bin is a young, and dare I say, unbelievably gorgeous woman, who once had a promising future as a sharp-shooter, but an injury in her past, which is poignantly explored visually over the duration of the film, has caused her life to spiral in an alternate direction. Living with her best friend, Eun-Jung (Esom) and gun instructor, Yook (Oh Dal-Su), a series of large debts to a local gang, forces her to follow Doo-Hun, and report back on his routines, the two of them meeting at culinary school, their continuous proximity and shared interest in cooking, leading to the orchestration of a close bond. The incorporation of food into the plot, although it may appear strange in theory, is well achieved, with a sense of passion and perfectionism by the characters, which reflects the standards they exhibit in the other areas of their lives.
Learning culinary techniques, morals and life lessons from each other, Se-Bin's role becomes increasingly complicated when Madame Kang (Youn Yoh-Jung), the ruthless owner of a business dedicated to instigating assassinations, assigns her the duty of taking Doo-Hun out. Unable to pull the trigger, other hit-men, including the unrivaled K (Kim Min-Jun), are ordered to complete the assignment, placing both Doo-Hun and Se-Bin at further risk. Neither of the leads take advantage of each other, and though their relationship is more often than not strained, and peculiar, the care, trust and friendship they exhibit is well developed on screen. At the same time, it can be difficult to assume the extent of their connection, with not enough evidence provided to assist audiences in speculating if whether the leads experience a father-daughter relationship, or are genuinely feeling a romantic attachment, though such questions do not take away from the on-screen chemistry, a scene where Se-Bin asks what she is to Doo-Hun, being quite possibly one of the film's most emotively powerful moments.
Viewers expecting to see a lot of action will presumably be disappointed, and though the fight scenes are often as well executed and entertaining as they are surprising, much of the feature is very character oriented and dramatic, with communication exhibiting a major role. Characters, including Eun-Jung, and mob-boss Baek (Lee Kyoung-Young), whose roles were pivotal in the film, deserved further screen time to further impact the audience with their presence. This aside, though the storyline incorporates murder, betrayal and corruption into its plot, Hindsight feels like a genuinely compassionate, enjoyable feature, that, thanks especially to the leads, will surely keep you attentive.