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Korean war movie set in Seoul in 1950. Jin-seok (Won Bin) and his older brother Jin-tae (Jang Dong-kun) run though the streets of their hometown, without a care in the world. They have clothes on their backs, food on the table, and a loving family. The brothers live with their mother, their much younger siblings, and Jin-tae's soon-to-be wife Young-shin (Lee Eun-joo). This tranquil existence is shattered when war breaks out. North Korea has invaded, and the family is forced to abandon their home. While making the way to safer grounds, soldiers arrive and take Jin-seok into custody. All men capable of carrying arms must report for duty. Jin-tae tries to free his brother, but he too is captured and both siblings suddenly find themselves on an army train, heading straight to the war's front line. With Southern forces failing to hold the Communist North's advance, Jin-tae organises a tight-knit group of conscripts and orchestrates a daring isolated attack. Earning the respect of the men and his superiors, with each increasingly suicidal mission, Jin-tae is promised to be awarded the Medal Of Honour that will enable him to demand Jin-seok be sent home.
A big, bruising epic of the Korean War, Tae Guk Gi or Brotherhood smashed box-office records when it played in South Korea in 2004, almost as though the country needed to re-live the trauma at a 50-year distance. For the rest of the world, this movie looks like a ground-level reckoning in a melodramatic key, with an authentic feel for battle lines as well as home front. It follows two brothers--one uneducated and forceful, the other intellectual and reserved--as they are united and then divided by the conflict. The broadly emotional story has some of the power of tales of the American Civil War, when family members found themselves on opposite sides of a battle. Director Kang Je-gyu , who made the lively female-assassin hit Shiri, takes a blunt approach to the material (including a Saving Private Ryan-style framing device). And at 150 minutes, he has plenty of time for head-splitting, blood-spraying combat. This movie is meant as a punch in the stomach, and it connects. --Robert Horton, Amazon.com
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Top Customer Reviews
The movie tells the story of two brothers conscripted to fight in the Korean War, and the affect the conflict has on them and their family. One brother's desire to protect the other spirals out of control, with disastrous consequences. Meanwhile, their family also suffers, due to the deprivations and ideology resulting from the war. The tragedy of their story is played out to the background of the widespread devastation caused by the war. I work in Korea and belive me there are very few pre 1950 structures here, the devastation was enormous.
As the story develops it encompasses the movement of the war, from the initial invasion by the North Koreans, to the encirclement of Busan, the breakout and push towards the Chinese border, then back down to the current site of the border, much the same border that existed at the beginning of the war. This makes the whole conflict particularly futile and this is amply illustrated within the context of the movie.
A feeling of pointlessness pervades the movie, not only during the battle scenes, but also in several scenes of random, brutal acts of violence away from the battlefield.Read more ›
It is the moat graphic war film I have ever seen, making Ryan look insipid. It was the most expensive film ever made in Korea, and watching it you will see why. Fantastic photography, beautifully acted with a simple story. It is also very emotional, and I dare you not to cry when watching it.
It also won many awards in its home country
I think I must rate this as one of my favourite ever, and I think anyone who watches it could easily feel as I do about it
Framed a la Saving... by a contemporary beginning and end,Brotherhood is a broad,heartfelt and ferocious piece.Outdoing Ryan with epic combat sequences that are utter carnage the director Kang Je-Gyu(who also scripted) captures the confusion and the insanity of war with startling clarity.
Overwhelming at times and not without flaws - a contrivance too many and a final battle that is a little too like greek tragedy,Brotherhood works through it's sheer visceral nature(one scene where a crazed soldier starts shooting his own is hard to watch) and a heartfelt depiction of sibling love(both brothers are first rate).
Critcism from other quarters seems harsh to me(enjoying"world cinema" isn't just an exercise in being condescending and intellectually detatched,we all like a bit of the wonderful Alain Resnais and Jean Cocteau but not Scorcese's overblown and ponderous remake of the superb Infernal Affairs)and being manipulated emotionally for something as stirring as this seems a fair trade off to me.Anyway everyone knows that a good war movie is the male tearjerker(apologies to all ladies who enjoy war movies)
It's been said the opening is too long. I didn't think it was. It allowed me to get to know the two main characters, their simplicity and uncomplication. They were not politicians, idealists or warriors. Just ordinary men with happy and contented lives...
suddenly they are pulled from a crowd and forced to fight. I don't think they even got training. Experience and survival was their only lessons.
I don't know much about the korean war but if half of this film is based on fact it must have been a terrible time and place to live in.
This film must be heavily influenced by Saving Private Ryan but then goes a step beyond. For example in one scene the men get shelled. The best I ever saw. I almost felt the fear of being buried alive by tons of dirt from the 'splash!'. The fighting is far more savage with both sides resorting to fists and bricks. Its gory, its sad and sometimes very disturbing. Because it also shows that human beings can be brutal even to those that share language, boundaries and even childhoods.
And the ending had me close to tears. Its the most original way to finish. I can't say why without ruining the impact so I will say Im not one who tends to be touched by films but this one hit the spot.
So excellant!!! And thank god they didn't mess it up by dubbing over the sound. Anyone who has seen both versions of Stalingrad will know what I mean.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the best films about the Korean War. The action sequences are great and the plot fast moving but with heart - something missing from recent American flag-wagging efforts... Read morePublished 4 months ago by SPAD
Ordered the film with english subtitles and its in german insteadPublished 10 months ago by Darroch Maghee
Hard to tell one Korean from another..lots of battle scenes but spoilt as you have to watch subtitles.Published 10 months ago by Musicman