The Korean War movie, "71-Into the Fire" is based on the true story of 71 students who fought hundreds of North Korean soldiers in front of a middle school in Po-hang, a significant place for safeguarding the other place where the main South Korean army was battling, during the Korean War.The Leading characters in this Korean war movie are played by Cha Seung-won (Park Mu Rang), kwon Sang-woo (Ku Kap Jo), Choi Seung-hyeon (Jung Bum), and Kim Seung-woo (Kang Suk-Dae). The fancy castings caught audiences' attention even before the Korean war movie was made.
In the movie, the North Korean troops are led by arrogant Commander Park Mu Rang (Cha Seung-won), and the South Korean troops are led by the fearless Captain Kang Suk Dae (Kim Seung-woo). Ku Kap Jo (kwon Sang-woo) and Oh Jung Bum (Choi Seung-hyeon) are two students among 71 student-soldiers.
In the beginning of the war, North Korean troops seemed like they were proceeding and kept coming down to south and made up to Pohang City. A girl's middle school in Po hang city turned into a war field and 71 student-soldiers were placed there. Commander Kang had to leave them to go fight in the Nak-Dong River frontier, a more important battle. Upon leaving, he appoints Oh Jung Bum as a leader of the 71 student soldiers. Jung Bum is not exactly a gung-ho type, however, he is cautious and responsible. Among the students, the only person who has experience in killing another person is Ku Kap Jo, a troublesome gangster. Conflicts ensue because Ku Kap Jo does not like the fact that a young naive looking boy is trying to lead the student soldiers. Burdened with command, and faced with Mu Rang's attractive offer, Jeong Bum is filled with fear and self doubt, but successfully leads the students. Although they died in the fire of battle, they saved the Pohang city.
The director of this movie, Lee Jae-han, previously directed "A Moment to Remember" and "Sayonara Itsuka". Both movies can be categorized in the mellow and romantic genre. Though this is his first time directing a Korean War movie, he succeeded. Fans of war movie, especially Korean War movies, should find plenty to like about "71-Into the Fire", as it is full of great fight scenes, emotional drama and great acting.
The movie was sold to England, Germany, Switzerland, Singapore, Mongol, U.S.A, and Japan. The history of Korean War is well known by many foreign countries but seeing this movie may provide a new perspective to this piece of history as it focuses more on the student soldiers themselves.
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2015 51st PaekSang Arts Awards