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South Korean Je-kyu’s Film ‘My Way’ Is Hell Of A Marathon

April 19th, 2012 · Tags:Arts

The guys who have lived through it will tell you, “War is hell.”

South Korean filmmaker Kang Je-kyu brings it … brings hell to the big screen in a big way … a long way … an epic two-hour+ kinda way in The Dallas International Film Festival’s Centerpiece Screening of “My Way.”

But “My Way” is so packed with action and twists … and even a love story … I think Je-kyu actually has a bloody mini-series on his hands. (I find my self wanting to pronounce his name “GQ” … come to think of it, he was a sharp dresser on the red carpet … I digress …)

The film is beautiful, and it is atrocious. It is poignant and it is gory. If you like war genre, this is a title for you. However, if you are squeamish and/or sensitive, you might want to stick with chick flicks, this time.

Oh my … This movie is intense. Here’s one of the more mild examples. There is a great segment where a sniper is picking off infantrymen one by one, and Je-kyu juxtaposes metallic-sounding plinks, searing bullets zipping by at lightning speed and then he slow-motions the trajectories so that the projectiles become things of wonder. Then they speed up and you can’t tell where they are coming from.  War is hell and in my opinion for reality on film, it must be chaotic. Score.   You know it is a good battle scene when you realize you have been ducking your head a bit when the bullets start to fly. Wow.

Take two … My Way is quite a history lesson too. Or at least it was for me. I knew little if anything of the Koreans’ being forced to fight first for Japan in WWII, and then the Soviet Union in WWII … and then Nazi Germany in WWII … at least in the case of one of the two main characters — Tatsuo (Jo Odagirl) and Joon-sik, (Dong-gun Jang) a Japanese and Korean pair who are enemies, competitors and somehow comrades.

I mean, war sucks … then multiply that times a million when you are forced to go fight for your enemy … or die an agonizing, dishonorable death.

There is a beautiful element to this saga too. It’s not only a marathon shoot-em-before-they-blow-you-up film, it is the story of two marathon runners and their life during wartime.

I would recommend this film to anyone who likes old war movies. The subtitles are no problem. Hell translates well into just about any language. And for the buffs, I thought I could detect homage to the great war films in the style and content of the scenes — “The Longest Day” … “Seven Samurai” … “Saving Private Ryan” … “Stalag 17” … “Bridge On The River Kwai” … I think the opening boy-in-the-car scene might be directly attributable to Spielberg‘s “Empire Of The Sun.”

Keep you head down, tracer pings are flying around like free bullets at a target range. We liked the way Je-kyu did it. The way he did “My Way,” — 6 pings

Know what I sayin?