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Son Suk-ku confronts internet trolls as an investigative journalist in ‘Troll Factory’

By Kim Da-sol

Published : March 4, 2024 - 14:24

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Son Suk-ku speaks during a press conference for his new movie “Troll Factory” held at Lotte Cinema Konkuk University, Seoul, Monday. (Yonhap) Son Suk-ku speaks during a press conference for his new movie “Troll Factory” held at Lotte Cinema Konkuk University, Seoul, Monday. (Yonhap)

“A Killer Paradox” and “My Liberation Notes” star Son Suk-ku plays an investigative journalist who digs up the truth behind internet trolls and seeks justice in the upcoming crime flick “Troll Factory.”

Son plays Im Sang-jin, a passionate investigative journalist who is suspended from work after revealing a conglomerate’s wrongdoings. He then decides to learn more about a team of three young men who manipulate public sentiments by leaving hate comments on his articles.

“I see this movie as more than just a movie. It’s closer to a documentary and black comedy, because because it not only has realistic lines, but the fact this happens in our lives makes the movie more suspenseful,” Son told reporters during a press conference held at Lotte Cinema Kokuk University, Seoul, on Monday.

“Im has a clear goal – he wants his stories to be published on the front page of the newspaper. But then his article becomes a piece of false news overnight due to internet trolls. They call Im ‘giregi,’” Son said.

Giregi, a coined term of the Korean words for “reporter” and “garbage,” is a derogatory term that expresses anger and frustration over reporters writing toxic, fake and clickbait stories.

It’s Son’s return to the silver screen in about two years after the mega-hit crime action franchise “The Roundup.”

“Troll Factory” (Acemaker Movieworks) “Troll Factory” (Acemaker Movieworks)

“Troll Factory” is helmed by Ahn Gooc-jin, the award-winning director who adapted the 2015 novel of the same title by Chang Kang-myoung. His debut film “Alice in Earnestland” received critical recognition at various film festivals including the Hong Kong Asian Film Festival.

“The way the story unfolds in the movie is quite unique. It has a distinctive charm compared (to other films), and it was the cast who amped up the reality and the character of the movie,” director Ahn told reporters.

“I always thought that I needed to create a film with Korean originality, and I’m happy to see that this movie has that. I’m satisfied,” he added.

Actors Kim Sung-cheol (“The Night Owl”), Kim Dong-hwi (“In Our Prime”) and Hong Kyung (“D.P.”) star as three members of the team Allep who manipulate public sentiment through online comments.

“Troll Factory” hits local theaters on March 27.