Park Chan-Wook, famous for his brilliant, visceral depictions of violence in the now legendary Vengeance Trilogy, directed this otherwise sentimental anti-war movie prior to his ferocious Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance. The movie starts with two alternate presentations of what might have led to shootouts and two murders at the highly brittle DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) between the two Koreas – the result of which could be renewed hostilities and worse, full-scale war. A neutral Swiss citizen of Korean origin (charmingly played by the lady who would later reverse conventions with devastating effect in Lady Vengeance) is asked to unearth what actually transpired; what follows is an unlikely but doomed tale of friendship and camaraderie that dared to defy synthetic man-made borders and barriers. Though the irony of the climax could have been more subtle and understated and the plot at times overtly borders on the maudlin, this is nonetheless a well-enacted tale dealt with enormous sensitivity and a good mixture of humour, satire and pathos by the director.
Director: Park Chan-Wook Genre: Drama/War/Mystery/Political Drama Language: Korean Country: South Korea