The Berlin File (Blu-ray release 2013-7-26) is a Korean spy thriller that takes place in Germany. Since I did not know what a certain acronym that starts with “M” meant before watching this movie, I failed to follow the really convoluted plot. It involves South Korea (naturally), North Korea, CIA, middle eastern terrorists, the “M”-organization, and a Russian arms dealer (for the opening scene). I understood it only after watching the key scenes for the second time. Even with the convoluted plot, I still think this is a good movie by Korean standards. The suspense is well maintained, and the action set pieces are great for this story.
For the purpose of viewers who got confused like I did initially, I wrote my understanding of one critical part of the plot below.
[CRITICAL PART OF THE PLOT EXPLAINED]
The North Korean villain and his father, a high ranking official, wanted to replace and control the Berlin office. They needed an excuse, so the villain secretly sabotaged the Berlin office’s arms deal with the Russian arms dealer and the middle Eastern terrorist Assim, by telling Israeli intelligence agency Mossad (the “M”-organization mentioned earlier) about it. Mossad then caught and executed the Russian and Assim. The villain framed the (North Korean) protagonist for causing Assim’s death so as to ask Assim’s brother to help catch the protagnonist and his wife.