My Way (2011)

Director: Kang Je Kyu
Casts: Jang Dong Gun, Joe Odagiri, Fan Bing Bing, Shin Sang Yub, Sung Yoo Bin, Kim In Kwon, Lee Yeon Hee, Kim Hee Won, Nicole Jung, Yang Jin Suk
Genre: Action/Drama
Running Time: 145 minutes
Certi: 18

This film is based on a true story. Jun Shik works under Tatsuo’s grandfather while Korea is colonized by Japan. However, he dreams to be a marathon runner in the Olympics. Tatsuo’s dream is same as Jun Shik’s so they are known as rivals. Tatsuo’s grandfather was assassinated and Tatsuo blames Jun Shik and his family for this to happen. Thus, they become bitter enemies as they grew as adults. They meet again at the tryouts but a riot broke out because of unfairness. Jun Shik and his friends were sent to war as Imperial Soldiers. Later, Tatsuo becomes the head of defence in Jun Shik’s unit. He comes out with a war strategy but failed. Both Jun Shik and Tatsuo are captured by the Soviets. Then, they run away but are captured by Germans which forced them to separate. In 1944, they meet again in Normandy. Besides the true history, this film showcases the true meaning of brotherhood and friendship between Jun Shik and Tatsuo.

This is by far my favourite war film because it gives a broader idea of how the World War II happened. To be honest, when I was a student, I was not really into history because all I learned are from textbooks. Through this film, it brings me back in time on how the war actually happened from 1939 to 1945. It shows me the true history of war through moving images and expressions from the characters of this film. It brings me from one place to another in five different countries as if I was on a historical ride. In terms of film production, I am very impressed that they use filming techniques with live settings and computer graphic images which make the whole scenes look real. Like I said before, this film makes me feel that I was back in time (eg the use of camera focus and angle). When it comes to war in different places, I was intense because of every single soldier has to go through hard times at the war zone such as they have to withstand the cold at the Soviet area. A budget around ₩28billion has been put a lot to make this war film that definitely makes you sense every single detail of this film.

While I was watching this film, I have the suspense emotions. I felt the sense of connection with the characters especially Jun Shik and Tatsuo. I admired Jang Dong Gun and Joe Odagiri’s effort in evoking their emotions and face expressions which show their character’s suffering at the warzones. They portray the characters’ stories. You have Tatsuo who is insane to not to retreat from war until he realise that every single person’s lives is important so he shouldn’t be selfish. On the other hand, you have Jun Shik who did his upmost best to survive till the very end. The director has done a good job in selecting the right casts for this film. I feel the pain in my heart because of them and the soldiers who have to go through war. The ending was emotional because their brotherhood starts to flower after the war between Soviet and Germans until Jung Shik dies in the war between Germans and American. Then, Tatsuo takes Jung Shik’s place and he runs for the marathon at the London Olympics 1948 which causes my tears to fell down. The brotherhood between Jung Shik and Tatsuo is truly amazing and emotional.

One word about this film: Wonderful. This film is an eye-opener because:
(1) It is based on true events (historical events on World War II) including interesting storyline
(2) It shows the true meaning of brotherhood between Jun Shik and Tatsuo
(3) You’ll feel emotional and intense while watching this film. It is a good thing.
(4) Great graphics and film production through the use of settings, camera angles, and computer graphics that make the whole scenes so real
(5) Amazing casts like Jang Dong Gun and Joe Odagiri

I hope that the filmmakers will create war and historical films like this film so that audiences could have more understanding about Korean history. ‘My Way’ is a great epic war film that I’m sure you’ll be interested to watch this especially when it comes to interests in action, war, and historical films.

Rating: 9/10

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