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Green Fish (1997)
"Chorok mulkogi" (original title)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 845 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 16 critic

Mak Dong has just been released from the army and is on his way home, when he helps out a woman on the train... See full synopsis »

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Title: Green Fish (1997)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Seong-kun Mun ...
Bae Tae-kon
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Seong-kyu Han ...
Makdong's 2nd-eldest brother
...
Makdong
...
(as Ji-hyeon Jeong)
Jin-yeong Jeong ...
Makdong's 3rd-eldest brother
Dong-gon Kim
Byeong-Cheol Lee
Mun-shik Lee ...
Thug on train
Gye-nam Myeong ...
Kim Yang-kil
Ji-hye Oh ...
Makdong's sister
Hye-jin Shim ...
Mi-ae
...
Pan-su
Edit

Storyline

Mak Dong has just been released from the army and is on his way home, when he helps out a woman on the train... See full synopsis »

Add Full Plot | Plot Synopsis

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Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

7 February 1997 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

Green Fish  »

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| (Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente)

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Referenced in Rough Cut (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A good start for the director
1 February 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is director Lee Chang-Dong's first film (of three) and the third that I've seen after his well-made films Peppermint Candy and Oasis. It's a story of a young man who is recently discharged from the standard military service that young Corean men are required to serve and finds that life, or the real world, is a lot harsher than his idealistic self would've expected. He soon finds himself dragged into the Corean underworld out of necessity and finds his idealism and the idealism of all those around him at odds with reality.

In a greater sense, this film is about the constant struggle between chasing your dreams and dealing with the harsh reality. All the primary characters, the mob boss, the female lead and the protagonist all have their dreams and ambitions (building a great property from the ashes of his youth, escaping the prostitute's life and living a normal one, owning a restaurant with his family), but are struck by the world's reality, which forms itself as an enemy mob, the mob bosses' controlling nature and the young protagonist's dysfunctional family.

It's a study of the nature of the relatively modern world (of Corea) and the inevitable clash of youthful idealism and experienced reality. And it doesn't take too many sides either, although the ending does seem to show that action, and sacrifice, even unintended, is what's necessary to keep yourself from being beaten down by reality.

It's a slowly-paced art film with quiet but contemplative character development, modest acting and capable directing. Directer Lee still hasn't fully gained a strong grasp of storytelling yet as a director at this point as the film as it's sometimes difficult to make out why anything's happening in the film, but the potential shows as well, with honest characters and patient development. A good start, but you can see the Director side of Lee Chang-Dong really start to pick up with his later films. It's decent. 7/10.


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