The Man Standing Next review – a thrilling scramble for political power in 70s South Korea

Based on a real 1979 military coup, this year’s Oscars submission from South Korea captivates with alliances, betrayals – and a climax worth waiting forThis is a suspenseful but fiendishly complex political thriller from South Korea, which was the country’s submission for best international film for the most recent Oscars, though it didn’t make the final five shortlist.

That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not a solid film, but viewers whose introduction to Korean cinema was director Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite, which rightly won all the big prizes the year before, should be warned not to expect anything quite as audacious or accessible here.In fact, director Woo Min-ho’s drama feels aimed more at a domestic audience, covering as it does the tense days in 1979 when a military coup and an assassination determined who would ultimately come to power.

Although based on actual events, a disclaimer

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