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'Bunt' Scores and Wins Sans Sacrifice

2007/04/26 | 801 views | Permalink | Source

By Kim Tae-jong
Staff Reporter

A bunt in a baseball game is not as spectacular and exciting as a homer, but it is as precious as it is generally a sacrifice for a larger cause.

The new film, "Bunt", is the story of a boy who is mentally challenged, but wants to contribute to society by doing what he can do best, which is bunt.

Directed by Park Gyoo-tae, the film revolves around Huh Dong-gu (Choi Woo-hyuk), an 11-year-Old Boy with an IQ of 60, which often sees him picked on by his classmates.

But Dong-gu doesn't really care about his disability and seems to be the happiest boy in the world living with his father (Jung Jin-young), who takes the best care of his son.

The young boy is obsessed with a big kettle, his reason to go to school and to live. And he is at his happiest when he pours drinking water from the kettle for his classmates.

But the boy is on the verge of being expelled from his elementary school and sent to a special institute as the school's president and teachers think that he can't adapt to the school because of his low IQ.

The father's agony begins as he wants his son to go on living as he wants _ to finish school just like his classmates.

He later finds out that one way to keep him at school would be for Dong-gu to join the school's baseball team, which lacks players.

At first, the boy seems useless on the team. He doesn't know anything about baseball _ he can't hit or catch a ball and doesn't know where to go after reaching first base. But what he enjoys most is pouring cups of water for his teammates with his favorite kettle.

But thanks to one of his classmates, who is bullied by other classmates but who Dong-gu likes, he finds a way to contribute to the team _ by bunting. And he gets a once-in-lifetime chance to save his team.

The film is not the tearjerker it seems. It produces a lot of hilarious moments from the innocence of the boy, far from making fun of his situation. It doesn't exaggerate the hardships the boy experiences or the sorrow that his father has for him.

It doesn't voice the instructive lesson that the boy's defect should be tackled nor does it attempt to seek a way to improve it. Rather, the film admits the defect, but shows, that a boy suffering from such hardships can find happiness in what he can do best.

Though the story is predictable and perhaps a little unrealistic, the film does an exceptionally good job at winning the hearts of the audience with its sincerity.

Three stars

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