Movies are a great way to learn about Korea, its history, society and trends. Officially KMusic compiled 11 movies that fans of South Korea should watch at least watch once.
71: Into the Fire
I have to admit – you have to be very brave to watch this movie. This is a wonderful true story, set in 1950 during the tragic Korean War, about the group of 71 student soldiers who fought against North Koreans and changed the course of history. I decided to watch the movie mainly because of the incredible cast that included Cha Seung Won, Kwon Sang Woo and BIGBANG‘s T.O.P. There is no bad thing I can say about the movie. The visuals were great and very realistic, the soundtrack was outstanding, the acting was incredible and very believable. I didn’t have a minute to relax while watching the movie because adrenaline was pumping through my body the whole time. It is definitelly a movie you will remember for a very long time. In an interview following the premiere of “71: Into the Fire,” T.O.P admitted that the role of O Jang Beom changed him drastically.
A great comedy with some elements of horror, fantasy, romance and suspence. Starring the beautiful Son Ye Jin and Lee Min Ki, the movie tells a story of Gang Yeo Ri (played by Son Ye Jin) who experiences a near death in high school and is since then frequently visited by ghosts. She then starts to work for magician Ma Jo Gu (Lee Min Ki) and decides to keep the secret to herself. When by chance Ma Jo Gu is followed by a ghost and learns Son Ye Jin’s secret, the two develop a friendship and start to genuinely care for each other. “Chilling Romance” is a great movie to watch with a group of friends on Friday night. It’s a well-balanced production with interesting characters and a story that will stick with you for a very long time (just like a ghost). And even though the whole idea seems old, I swear this is something you have never seen before.
The Man From Nowhere
This is a movie with probably the most popular shaving scene in the history of Korean cinema (around 0:44 in the video below). Won Bin turns into a next door ajeossi – called like that by a little girl who always comes to him whenever there’s trouble at home. One day, the girl comes home to find out that her mom is being tortured by some strangers. The gang then kindaps the girl and her mother and promise to release them if Ajeossi does a job for them. Wanting to rescue the two, he agrees and the battle of life and death begins. Even though there are some brutal scenes, the movie itself is very touching and, for me, tells a great story of a friendship that knows no age limits. And, let’s face it, this is the movie that made Won Bin THAT Won Bin.
Baby and Me
This is an incredibly fun and sweet movie starring Jang Geun Seok, Song Ha Yun, and Mason Moon. Jun Su (played by Jang Geun Seok) is a trouble maker who suddenly finds out he has a baby. The movie revolves around Jun Su’s struggles while trying to take care of the cute baby. This movie has everything a comedy movie should have. There are some funny scenes that will have you rolling on the floor laughing, and those that will have you holding a tissue secretly wipping the tears. A movie about responsibility, family and friends everyone should see.
The Sword With No Name
The movie takes us to Joseon during the later part of the 19th century. The situation is very tense as Westerners and Japanese gain more and more influence and the government desperately looks for a way to quell them. The soon to become queen (played by Su Ae) befriends a commoner Mu Myeong (played by Jo Seung Woo) and their controversial relationship is tested as Joseon is heading toward the chaotic end of another chapter. You will probably need a little bit more patience to finish it, but I think it is worth giving a shot. This movie’s strong points are definitely phenomenal acting and outstanding special effects.
He Was Cool
This is a movie that introduced me to Song Seung Hoon. I watched it a few years ago, but I still remember the plot very well and how much it made me laugh. It tells a story of an annoying guy who everyone is afraid of. Even though he is rude and hot-tempered he dreams of a deep and long lasting love. Suddenly he gets to know Ha Ye Won (played by Jung Da Bin) – a sweet and a little bit clumsy high-school girl. The two slowly start to care for each other. A great comedy that shows that everyone wants to be loved and are ready to do anything for the ones they love.
Brotherhood of Flags (Taegukgi)
This is another war movie that you should watch at least once. It is a great story of two brothers living in the time of the Korean War. Torn from their family and forced to be soldiers. Jang Dong Geun, playing the older brother Jin Tae, vows to keep his weaker younger brother Jin Seok (Won Bin) safe from any danger. Suddenly, military officials promises to send Jin Seok home if JinTae wins a medal of honor, so Jin Tae begins to fight without fear. A touching movie of the unbreakable bond of brothers and families. Very realistic and touching story that will stay in your head for a long time.
200 Pounds Beauty
Even though Hanna (Kim A Jung) has a beautiful voice, her outter appearance doesn’t allow her to perform. She keeps on recording vocals for other singers who are pretty but cannot sing instead. After meeting Han Sang Jun (played by Ju Jin Mo) whom she falls in love with, Hanna decides to undergo plastic surgery and turn into a pop sensation. Even though this movie is presented in a simple way from the beginning to the very end, it brings a deep meaning. “200 Pounds Beauty” is very frank about plastic surgery that is very common in South Korea nowadays. It shows the mentality of those who decide to go under knife to change their appearance and how it changes their lives. Even though the fat Hanna is slightly riddiculed in the beginning of the movie, it doesn’t change the fact that this is a great movie one should watch.
500 years after being charged with the murder of his master, mischevious Taoist student Woochi (played by Kang Dong Won) is freed and sent to battle goblins in the modern world. When Woochi and his sidekick Chorangui (Yoo Hae Jin) tries to understand the new surroundings, they find out that the goblins they are supposed to fight with are even greater threat to humanity than before. Even though I was a little bit scared I would not like the movie, I was very pleased how it turned out. Kang Dong Won strikes a lot of spectacular poses throughout the whole movie making me laugh every time he appeared on the screen. The special effects were also well done, so I highly recommend this movie to everyone.
Have you ever thought how great would it be to not feel pain? Well, what if I tell you there actually are people who cannot feel anything? This movie is about one of those people. Nam Sun (Kwon Sang Woo) doesn’t know what his food tastes like and he never feels any pain because of analgesia. Obsessed with the fact, he voluntarily starts to hurt himself but his life is about to change when he meets Dong Hyeon (Jeong Ryeo Won). Even though it sounds very predictable this movie is very surprising. It also has a very nice soundtrack with the title song sung by Yim Jae Bum.
Ji Hye (Son Ye Jin) is a very shy girl who is secretly in love with her classmate Sang Min (Jo In Seong) for as long as she can remember. Unfortunatelly, he seems to pay more attention to her friend Syu Gyeong (Lee Sang In). One day, Ji Hye finds her mother’s journal from her youth in which she mentions her tragic first love. The movie takes us to two different settings – one in Korea of the 70s, and the second being in a present showing us that the lives of Ji Hye and her mother (also played by Son Ye Jin) begin to mirror each other. I have to admit, I thought “Classic” would be boring, but I was pleasantly surprised. The actors did a great job, the plot turned out to be very interesting, and the soundtrack perfectly matched the movie.
Do you have a favorite movie you would like to recommend? Feel free to do that in the comments! We would be glad to learn what movies our readers like to watch!
Edited by: Angelspatience