IMDb > Swiri (1999)
Swiri
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Swiri (1999) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 16 | slideshow) Videos
Swiri -- US Home Video Trailer from Columbia

Overview

User Rating:
6.7/10   6,444 votes »
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Up 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
Je-kyu Kang (writer)
Contact:
View company contact information for Swiri on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 February 1999 (South Korea) See more »
Plot:
North and South Korean superspys battle and fall in love. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
3 wins & 2 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(2 articles)
Best of Korean Cinema #6 – Kang Je-Kyu
 (From SoundOnSight. 2 December 2012, 11:06 AM, PST)

Korea boxoffice remains solid
 (From The Hollywood Reporter. 29 October 2002)

User Reviews:
Shiri Lee Got Me See more (89 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)
Suk-kyu Han ... Jong Won Yu

Min-sik Choi ... Mu-young Park

Yunjin Kim ... Myung-hyun Lee / Bang-hee Lee (as Yoon-jin Kim)

Kang-ho Song ... Jang-gil Lee
Johnny Kim ... Dae-Ho Jung (as Derek Kim)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Jeong-min Hwang
Hyeong-seong Jang
Su-ro Kim
Seung-Shin Lee
Yong-woo Park ... Sik
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Directed by
Je-kyu Kang  (as Je-gyu Kang)
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Je-kyu Kang  writer (as Je-gyu Kang)

Produced by
Moo-Rim Byun .... producer
Kwan-hak Lee .... producer
 
Original Music by
Dong-jun Lee 
 
Cinematography by
Sung-Bok Kim 
 
Film Editing by
Gok-ji Park 
 
Sound Department
Patrick Giraudi .... sound re-recording mixer
Thanos Kazakos .... adr recordist
 
Stunts
Doo-hong Jung .... stunt coordinator
 
Editorial Department
Na-young Nam .... negative editor
 
Music Department
Sang-joon Hwang .... music department
 
Other crew
Johnny Kim .... advisor (as Derek Kim)
 

Production CompaniesDistributors
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Shiri" - Canada (English title) (imdb display title), Hong Kong (English title)
See more »
MPAA:
Rated R for strong violence and some language
Runtime:
125 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
German film fans were astonished when this film passed the ratings board FSK (known for its extensive dislike of excessive violence) uncut with a "Not under 16" rating. It was expected that the film would not get a rating at all and had to go for a JK approval from SPIO (Head organization of German film business).See more »
Goofs:
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): Choi Min-sik (actor Mu-young Park) keeps using the term "Nam Han" (which translates to 'South Korea') instead of the term "Nam Chosun" (which translates to 'South Chosun' - a term used by North Koreans)See more »
Movie Connections:
Spin off "Iris" (2009)See more »
Soundtrack:
When I DreamSee more »

FAQ

What are the differences between the Director's Cut and the International Version?
See more »
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
Shiri Lee Got Me, 2 December 2012
Author: rooprect from New York City

(Yeah I know the song is "You Really Got Me" but I couldn't think of a witty title)

The posters and DVD cover are deceptive. Contrary to the image of a hot chick in a sexy slit dress holding a gun, this is not a sexy femspy flick. In fact you never get a good look at the female assassin until the very end; the story is completely from the point-of- view of two investigative agents trying to catch her, with very little info.

So you'd think this is a whodunnit mystery, right? Not really that either. What you get is sortofa action love story with some nice political themes. When I say it's a love story, it's not just a standard boy-meets-girl thing, but it's actually an interesting triangle which is 1 part romance (a detective and a fish store girl) and 1 part "bromance" (detective and his buddy).

All of this is set against the backdrop of a terrorist plot to blow up things & kill people, and that itself is set against the backdrop of political unrest between North & South Korea. There's a lot going on, and the 2 hr movie flies by without a boring moment. In fact it could've easily been an epic miniseries with all its interesting subplots, themes & messages.

As an uninformed American, I thought it was a pretty good flick. But I feel like in order to get the full power, you'd need to be more familiar with the whole division between N & S Korea, why it happened, and how culturally & economically different the two countries are. Sorta like a non-American would have to learn up on the US Civil War before truly appreciating "Gone with the Wind". But in "Shiri" they do a pretty decent job of covering the backstory so I'm not complaining.

The title "Shiri" is not the name of the assassin, as you might imagine, but actually it's the name of a type of fish that supposedly spawns in a different stream before returning to its "homeland". Throughout the movie we get similar metaphors aimed at the reunification of Korea, and indeed the whole plot centers around that idea.

So with that in mind, the movie takes an interesting viewpoint showing both sides of the story (good guys & bad guys), and although the audience's sympathy is mostly with the "good guys", the point is that the 2 sides are not so different as you'd think.

Symbolism, in particular fish symbolism, is very prominent. In between action scenes, there's a lot to think about. And of course I imagine the original Korean language version packs even more meaning. The subtitles seem a little inadequate sometimes.

Like all Korean movies I've seen, this is really violent. But it's actually one of the tamer ones, with most of the violence being gunfire, no gross-out torture scenes or anything. Although we do see someone's head explode in lovely splattervision. Haha, that one was totally unnecessary too... but really awesome just the same!

There's not much comedy in this film. It pretty much sticks to the point with minimal diversions.

"Shiri" is a well-justified use of your time. Imagine "Die Hard" (action) with a dash of "In the Line of Fire" (detective thriller) combined with "Black Sunday" (political intrigue) and a dash of romance & bromance, there you have it.

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