71: Into the Fire (포화속으로)

Into the Fire is based on a true story about 71 students who fought at a school during the Korean War.

There’s really not much more I can say about the plot as it is a war movie but don’t give up just yet. Firstly, I am not a war movie fan. I wouldn’t have even watched this movie without its male cast (T.O.P, Cha Seung Won and Kwon Sang Woo all in one movie!) but I am not disappointed. The movie doesn’t expect you to know any history nor does it pour it on you. It’s simple and clear cut. It doesn’t glorify dying at war but at the same time the movie wasn’t too brutal.

Let’s start with my favorite one: TOP or Choi Seung Hyun who played Oh Jung Beum, a student who was made the leader of their squat suddenly and against his will.

Like always TOP doesn’t disappoint. He’s character was so fragile and scared in the beginning but he had to grow. As he was made the leader he made hard decisions, had to kill, and try to keep the other student soldiers in line. Not an easy task. And as his character changed I loved the way he was able to transfer that feeling to the viewer with the smallest expressions. His role didn’t have most lines but his eyes; the young honesty they had in them will stay with me forever.

Then moving on to the next one.

Kwon Sang Woo (Running Wild) played Ku Kap Jo, a student also, who hated communists and fought in the war willingly just to kill them. He didn’t want to fall under Jung Beum’s leadership. A gangster in school, a gangster in war too. Well anyway, I like Kwon Sang Woo as an actor and he did a great job here too. Rebel roles suit him so well.

Last but no means least we had Cha Seung Won play the more or less sane North-Korean leader named Park Mu Rang.

I guess Mu Rang was the only character I was a little disappointed in. I had heard before that his character was all evil and psychotic but in my opinion he was not. Also, and this is my biggest complaint of this movie; WHY ON EARTH WOULD THEY MAKE HIM WEAR A CAP THAT HIDES HIS EYES THE WHOLE MOVIE???!!!

I’m being dead serious here. I wanted to see his eyes. It felt that something was missing, like I couldn’t completely read his emotions or thoughts. Am I even making any sense anymore?

Anyways, I’m a fan of all these three amazing actors and was happy to see them all in the same movie.

What I liked most about this movie was the cast and TOP’s narrative, it was so mundane; the things we see as ordinary every day things were ordinary to him (or any of them) anymore. The narrative was painful at times but beautiful.

I don’t regret watching this movie. The cast was good and the movie wasn’t too bloody but made the watcher realize along with the young soldiers that war is not easy or pleasant to anyone.


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