Posted February. 05, 2004 23:45,
Taeguek flag has flapped at last.
In the movie Waving Taeguek Flag, which is scheduled to be released on February 6, the largest ever amount of production cost, 14.7 billion won, has been pitched in, the two top stars of the Korean movie world, Jang Dong-gun and Won Bin, starred, and Kang Je-gyu, the director of Shiri has presented the movie, stirring a big curiosity as to the outcome of the movie. The movie has received a cordial reception because of its full-scale challenge toward the troublesome issues and showing the impressive spectacle reminiscent of Hollywood war films. However, the movie still leaves something lacking on its way to receiving a thunderous round of applause.
What kind of movie is this? -
Compared with Shiri, which utilizes the Korean peninsulas divided state as a background of action and melodrama, Waving describes the origins of the countrys partition and the damages occurred by the incident, grounding on the two brothers thrown amid the war.
The movie is started from the recollection of the younger brother Jin-seok, who has waited for his elder brother for more than 50 years. In 1950 in Seoul, there were two brothers, Jin-tae (starred by Jang Dong-gun) and the younger brother Jin-seok (Won Bin), who shined shoes to earn money and faced the college entrance exam respectively. On the way to evacuation, Jin-tae voluntarily entered the army to protect his younger brother Jin-seok, who was forced to enlist in the army. Jin-tae, who was dispatched to the same platoon together with his brother, heard that he needs a medal in order for his younger brother not to serve. Jin-tae went through thick and thin for his brothers sake in the battlefields, performing a meritorious deed. The day of putting up the national flag, Taeguek flag, was nearing, but the brotherhood was becoming estranged gradually.
Hollywood Level Spectacle
The four major scenes of this movie, such as Nakdong Rivers battle in 1950, have exhibited a new paradigm in the Korean movie world. The battles in Waving is not the cutting-edge style battle that attacks its opponent by simply pressing the buttons of missile launchers. It describes the war in the 1950s which required the blood and flesh of five million people, practically and delicately. Making use of the hand-held picturing techniques, the straight-forwarded delineation of the slaughter and the live delivery of moaning convince the audiences that this fight is a brutal reality rather than a game. Though the machine gun shooting scene in which the trace of bullets is described, utilizing the computer graphics, is unpleasant to the eyes, the scenes of evacuation and the Chinese armys human sea battle tactic was the acme of the movie.
Why does the movie have a name, Waving ?-
Despite the others suspicious eyes which doubted as to whether or not he is an extreme right-winger, he defends the title as precious. The image of Taeguek flag in the movie does not symbolize the friendliness and patriotism. The flags which appear at the latter part of the movie exist as a symbol which infringes upon the small dreams of the common people. Jin-tae was also not so free from the flag. His warfare was also soaring up to the madness, which was begun in order to save his brothers life. The viewpoint of Jin-seok toward his elder-brothers alteration is touching with the thoughts of the director that there is no good and justified war.
Saving Private Won Bin -
The weak point of the movie is based on the excessively single tracked story line. The gigantic issue, the Korean War, seems to be unwieldy to be placed on a small dish, the brotherhood. There are the unique performances acted by the extras such as Ko Young-man (starred by Kong Hyung-jin), the mother of the Jin-tae brothers (Lee Young-ran), and the aged Jin-seok (Jang Min-ho), which plays the role of alleviation of the heavy atmosphere of the movie, but the details and specific gravities of the roles are scarce to deliver the realities of war abundantly. That is the reason that the reverse turn and the conclusion of the movie are felt to be artificial, despite the impressive final ten minutes. The criticism which points out the movies plagiarism will be followed up.
In this movie, Jang Dong-gun renovates his image as an actor by saving Jin-seok. His craziness and charisma inform the birth of a genuine actor.