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One-Man War-Maker

2003/12/24 Source

by Pak Don-gyu

Nobody knew that it would take this long. Kang Je-gyu, who brought fantasy to Korea with "The Gingko Bed", and pushed Korean movies to the next level with the blockbuster film "Shiri", is coming back to the screen with "Taegukgi" in February. It has been five years since his last film, "Shiri".
"Taegukgi" is a tragedy about two brothers, Jin-tae (Jang Dong-gun) Jin-seok (Won Bin), set during the Korean War. It is a spectacular blockbuster. One can easily imagine the scale of the movie: the net production cost exceeded W14.6 billion, 25,000 extras were mobilized using 19,000 military uniforms, two kilometers of defensive positions were built on the Nakdong River, and was filmed in 140 shoots. On average, three actors per day had to go to the hospital because of injuries sustained during the shooting.

When other Korean movies on the Korean War have focused on small details and specific battle incidents, "Taegukgi" works out its plot in a broader picture.

"The way that the drama of the two brothers gets unfolded is so much like the way the war was developed", Kang said. The heroes of the movie, Jang and Won, grow up from the pretty boys they used to be.

There are three full-scale battle scenes: around the Nakdong River, in Pyongyang and in Dumilyeong. "You won't be able to see detailed and realistic depictions of wars like what we see in movies like 'Saving Private Ryan', but there will be much more spectacles to watch", Kang said.

The failure of Korean blockbusters after the success of "Shiri" disappointed investors, and "Taegukgi" also had a hard time to secure money enough to make the film. "It is extremely hard for a blockbuster movie to succeed without much effort and thinking put into it from the very beginning to the end", Kang said.

He was especially heartbroken by the miserable box-office record of "Wonderful Days" and "Natural City" this year. "This movie must not flop. I should give hope to the Korean movie industry. I really want to break the vague stereotype of war movies with this one", Kang said.

Source : www.chosun.com...

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