- Friendship, the Korean way. 5/13/2002 12:00:00 AM by hwarangdo
Last year, "Chin goo (AKA Friend)" became the highest grossing film in Korean history, surpassing the highly acclaimed "Joint Security Area" and "Shiri". Many observers were curious as to the secret to its success. Was it because of the gangsters? the actors?
The main reason for this movie's phenomenal success was the fact that is was a very good movie about male friendship. In Korean culture, friendship between guys is a very strong relationship. Especially in the city in which the movie is set - Pusan - loyalty and sacrifice for friendship is seen as a very important part of honour.
In this movie, friendship is tested to the limit from beginning to end, as the movie's two main leads (Yoo Oh Sung and Jang Dong Gun) grow from being teenage rebels to big-time gangsters. The catch is, when they grow up, they become very different types of gangsters. One becomes a JOPOK - equivalent to the Korean Mafia, respected by the Korean people for sometimes punishing bad people. And the other becomes more of a thug gangster who kills and steals for fun.
The direction is excellent, but the acting is the element which holds the film together as a whole. The two leads are two very different actors. The first, Yoo Oh-Sung, plays the Mafia gangster and has a very tough-as-nails look and uses method acting skills. The second (arguably Korea's most popular actor right now) chews scenery with Chow Yun Fat-like charisma and striking looks.
if you enjoy gangster movies or movies about friendship, this will be a dream movie for you
- Best movie I have seen this weekend. And I have seen 12 of them. 3/4/2002 12:00:00 AM by Dockelektro
Epic tale of paths that diverge only to be reunited again at some critical moments, "Chin Goo", or "Friend" was a blockbuster at homeland Korea, and one can tell why. The story is attractive: the choices that four friends take on their lives, and the way we end up paying dearly for our mistakes and weaknesses. The construction is somehow western, which has attracted the audiences, all I can say is that I have not seen this movie, but felt it within me. Great comic timing, moving and powerful moments, great, great, GREAT actors, and master directing by an emerging director, Kwak Kyung-Taek, which shows signs of great potential in the future. Loved it all the way, hope to get the DVD as soon as possible.
- Must-See Film 11/26/2004 12:00:00 AM by jmverville
It is a bit hard to know where to begin when dissecting such a film. What I can say is that this was a very stunning film, and with the time you spend thinking about it and the more times that you watch it it only becomes more relevant and better. Mr. Kwak is capable to tell the story of four friends on such an intimate level because it was based very much on his own personal experiences.
The story is extremely genuine, and it holds so much water for anybody who has ever witnessed the people that they love ruin their lives. It certainly comes straight from the heart of Kwak, and while watching it it is hard not to become emotional as you see the film being developed.
I also found the film to be made very professionally, with some great camera-work and never once did I feel that the production was sub-par. A lot of the camera work is well executed.
Overall, the dialogue and story are very powerful, and the calm, reflective nature of the film makes it easy to watch. I enjoyed this film very much. Overall, one of the best portrayals of the passage of time, nostalgic sentimentality, and the relations of friends.
- SEE this movie. 10/6/2004 12:00:00 AM by ssnake_123
I found it sitting there at blockbuster and I grabbed it for the hell of it and was pleasantly surprised. This was one of the first Korean movies I saw and was completely blown away. Just about everything in this movie is done right. The story is extremely well told and interesting. Its a really intense/serious movie, but does not take itself TOO serious like so many movies and is quite often light hearted and comical. The acting really stands out in this movie, the performances are flawless.
PLEASE see this movie. Rent it, buy it, borrow it. You will NOT be disappointed.
- Hard edged story of friendship over the course of 20 years is must see viewing 3/24/2006 12:00:00 AM by dbborroughs
Friend This is the course of friendship over a twenty year period. Beginning in 1975 we watch as four friends spend some time on what appears to be a summer vacation. Their future looks bright. A few years on as school and life takes its toll the dynamic between them changes and re-changes again as the have to deal with growing up, shattered dreams, decent into crime and drugs and the friendship itself. This is a dark little film that reminded me of some of the work of Martin Scorsese. Life often beats on these guys, from cruelty from their teachers to murder making it hard to get by. The course of these boys lives is not clear nor does it always turn out how we, or they think it will. The cast is excellent from top to bottom. Definitely worth seeking out, though be warned some of the violence has a tough edge to it.