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Friday, April 13, 2012

71: Into the fire (2010)


Country: South-Korea
Format: movie
Genre: war, II World War, life&death, real life
Cast: TOP, Kwon Sang Woo, Kim Seung Woo, Cha Seung Won, David McInnis, Park Jin Hee, Kim Sung Ryeong, Tak Teu In, Kim Hye Seung, Moon Jae Won,
Synopsis: Based on true life events during the Korean War in the year of 1950, when 71 young undertrained and undergunned student soldiers fought against North-Korea in Nakdong area. They where able to hold North-Korea troops back for 11 hours (it is less time in the movie) in Pohang-Dong girls middle school. Movie is inspired by one student soldier´s letters. /../ Oh Jung Beom has lived through his first battle, which put him into shock and fright, soon he is named to be the commander of 70 student soldiers, who are left behind by main troops. With out proper experience, training and knowledge they must fight to protect their country.
Rating: 4/5
I hope most of you have learned about Korean War in school, so you know that it was from 25 June 1950 to 27 July 1953 between South-Korea (allies with USA) and communist North-Korea (supported by China and Soviet Union), which had divided during 1945-1949. I must say that if you know the background of the real events, then it is easier to understand.
One of the main characters Oh Jung Beom has lived through his first battle, but due to his shock one solder gets a bullet right in front of his eyes. Later he is made commander of the student solders. What I most like about TOP's acting in it is that you can see how Oh Jung Beom matures - that innocent boy look before war became real soldier during the events. Also, his lack of confidence and leadership changed into respective and wise actions. TOP definitely is not an actor who you could say has emotionless expressions - you can read more from his eyes than from anyone´s else. Just see the fright and shock in his eyes - I think that he totally was worth of those 5 awards he won for his role. In addition, most of the fighting scenes ended with many bruises and cuts for actors, TOP was even rushed to hospital due to an eye injury. Doctor´s said that if the injury would have been just a little bit deeper, he would have lost his eye sight of the left eye. (Thankfully, he wore protective lenses after that and now his eye has fully recovered)  I do not know why, but I truly respect his sensitivity - while "71: Into the fire" movie premier he cried after watching his own movie - soo sweeet =D
Kap Jo is high-school drop out, whose parents were killed by communist, so you can imagine how much hatred there was in him. He is aggressive, loud, pretty thoughtless and outrageous. Even though he and Oh Jung Beom have many disagreements, they give each other the confidence to stand for their country and democracy. His thoughtless actions actually come in handy many times, although he hardly ever listens to the commander's orders.
South-Korean Generel of student soldiers was Captain Daewi/Kang Suk Dae. He thought a lot about student soldiers and try to do his best to keep them safe, but he had no control over the armor division. I think he hoped that leaving student soldiers there, will keep them away from any fire conflicts.
North-Korea General was Pak. He had some kind of heart, because he at least tried to give S-Korea student soldiers opportunity to change sides and stay alive, but mostly he had some mental issues and strong ideological mind.
I was so angry that many took joining troops as a big joke and I felt like they did not think that they might not go home anymore. I liked their strategy in the battle, but they were the minority, although you can see in the end how much two men can kill. I know it has not much to do with the movie, but I was 100% on South-Korea side - my country was occupied by Soviet Union after II World War and I must tell that the communism and Soviet times were horrible. The affects of Soviet actions are still strongly felt even after my country has been independent democratic country for whole my life.
Back to the movie - those fight effects are amazing, like I said before most of it was real. There are some "professionals" like they call themselves who do not like this movie, but most of them do not think that it was true story of real life. I say to them - "Go WATCH your unrealistic fiction-movies!". I definitely enjoyed watching it.


SPOILER Review: I had no idea that Oh Jung Beom was going to die too. I knew that most of them will, but that he too was a total surprise for me. But definitely the saddest scene of the scene is where one brother has to shoot his younger brother to save him from agony.

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