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Review - Taegukgi

The epic war film opened in the happy days in 1950. Jin-tae and Jin-seok were close brothers. Jin-seok was a bright student and the hope of the family. Jin-tae worked hard so that his younger brother could go to school. Life is not easy, but with the family and his fiancee around, they could not be more contented.

Then came the outbreak of the war. The brothers were quickly drafted and put into the front line. Right away the new troops were pounded by the enemies. Jin-tae desperately wanted to get his brother home. By volunteering himself for every dangerous mission, he figured he would either get a medal or get killed so that his brother could get out. His boldness helped them to win an intense battle. But this was only the beginning. As the war progress, things were descended deeper into darkness. Jin-tae became a ruthless soldier losing his humanity. The brothers relationship was under strain. As the fighting seesawed, casualties and deep wound between the two sides ensured.

Unlike many action movies those special effect look just like video games, the fighting scenes here are intense and realistic. But even more terrifying is the bayonet fights that was so savage.

Another absurdity is although much of animosity between the enemies is driven by the ideological divide, the central characters are really apolitical.

Although I considered myself an international film buff, somehow this is only this first Korean film I saw. It has not disappointed me. Taegukgi is easily the most affecting war film I have seen.

(Korea, 2004)

2004.10.09 [] - comments



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