In 1950, in South Korea, shoe-shiner Jin-tae Lee and his 18-year-old old student brother, Jin-seok Lee, form a poor but happy family with their mother, Jin-tae's fiancé Young-shin Kim, and her young sisters. Jin-tae and his mother are tough workers, who sacrifice themselves to send Jin-seok to the university. When North Korea invades the South, the family escapes to a relative's house in the country, but along their journey, Jin-seok is forced to join the army to fight in the front, and Jin-tae enlists too to protect his young brother. The commander promises Jin-tae that if he gets a medal he would release his brother, and Jin-tae becomes the braver soldier in the company. Along the bloody war between brothers, the relationship of Jin-seok with his older brother deteriorates leading to a dramatic and tragic end.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
To recreate the battle at Doo-Mil-Ryung, the scene required 15,000 bullets, 3,000 extras and 500 stunt experts. Instead of rifles being fired, fist fights were the main focus of the scene and all of the cast were specially trained. The shoot lasted three weeks with about 50 minor accidents a day on average, but the scene was finally wrapped without any major accidents. See more »
In the scene where the South Koreans are retreating from the Chinese, one of the POWs takes a pistol from an injured soldier, shooting him twice. When he shoots the soldier a second time, the sound of the gunshot is out of sync with the slide kicking back (Just before it shows the soldier getting shot, you can clearly see the slide is back, but the gunshot is heard a few seconds later). See more »
[pulls out Jin-seok's pen that he lost]
I found this in the fire. I've been holding onto this for you.
Give it to me... when I see you again.
See more »
Also released in a directors cut running 148min.8min longer than the US and original version See more »
Written by Kim Song Kyu and Park Yeong Ho
Sung by Park Hyang Rim. See more »
Damning indictment of the cost of war
When North Korea invades the South, two brothers are forcibly drafted into the army. The older of the two, hoping to win a medal and ticket home for his younger brother, begins going on every suicide mission offered. This, however, puts a strain on his relationship with his brother and those in the platoon. Worse the course of the war has several nasty turns waiting for them...
I'm of two minds about this film. Despite the fact this is a graphic example of both the physical and psychic effects of war, the narrative is more than a bit disjointed. The film is loosely connected snapshots of the course of the war, beginning right before the invasion, then several weeks later before jumping about a month at a time to certain key events. I'm sure that had I better grasp of the history of the war I would have understood the events better. I felt lost and wished there had been more explanation. The lack of a narrative that follows all the way from start to finish hurts the film since we're moved a bit too much from place to place and situation to situation
But the course of the war is not the purpose of the film, rather its the relationship between two brothers. How war changes them and everything in and around them except the love they have for each other. Its a bit hokey but its dead on, just ask anyone who's ever loved their sibling unquestioningly. You understand how one brother would spend 50 years trying to find the other.
And then there are the battle scenes which are wonderful and frightening and seem to be the total chaos that war really is. People die horribly and the experience is far from fun.
Is the movie worth seeing?
Yes. Its not perfect but its a kick in the pants.
8 out of 10.
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