June 27, 2009

MOVIE: Silmido 실미도

Another entry,another movie. I know most of you might have noticed by know the recurring theme in the movies that I am posting. It's something shrouded with despair, filled with unchecked human emotions and tinted with violence. If you are waiting for movie recommendations that are overwhelmingly sweet and makes you go "Awww" at every scene, then I am not the admin that you should stalk.haha

I'm a little nuts and would pick a gruesome murder ensemble over a cloying love scene anytime. I am notorious for watching extremely bloody,violent and gut-wrenching films of all times.(I sure wish I could watch all of those.) Better stop before I scare all you dear readers away.haha

Although my movie recommendations may not be the cup of tea for some, all I can guarantee is that these movies are top of the line. From actor awards to blockbuster records, these movies have it all. And today's entrant is none other than another blockbuster war film called Silmido.

Silmido is a 2003 South Korean movie directed by Kang Woo-Suk and is loosely based on a military uprising that happened in the island of Silmido in the 1970's.

On January 31,1968, 31 commandos from North Korean Special Unit 124 entered the South in a failed assassination attempt to kill president Park Chung-hee. In retaliation, South Korea formed its own unit comprising of 31 individuals who where outcasts or deathrow convicts and trained them off on the island of Silmido. Their mission: To kill North Korea's Kim Il-Sung. In the event of a successful assassination, all of them are given their freedom and a new chance at life. With that goal, each one of them went through grueling,inhumane treatment to emerge as the best lean,mean killing machines.

But as they were finally dispatched towards the North, a mysterious order from the officials above recalled them before they have realized their mission. The men came back,disillusioned. Because of this, two of their members went AWOL and went to a nearby village and raped a female doctor. But they were discovered by their superiors and when they were surrounded by the military, they opted to commit suicide. One of them died on the spot but the other was alive, but wounded. He was brought back to camp and strung-up as an example to others while the remaining members of the elite team were beaten. One member snapped and ran towards the strung-up man and killed him.

When the order was canceled, the team no longer has a mission and was therefore useless. The goal that made them endure the terrible struggles will no longer be realized. And with that,it could only mean two things - no freedom and no new life awaits them.

Reunification talks were in progress between North and South Korea. To prevent the top-secret mission being leaked to the outside world, politicians ordered the General(Ahn Sung-Ki) to eliminate those men within a week or he and his fellow officers would perish alongside those convicts. Torn between his duty and his personal honor, he decided to leak the information. After hearing the information about their annihilation, the members of the unit 684 planned to retaliate. And all hell broke loose.

Authors note:

I decided to leave out the ending for you to find out and appreciate. The last few sequences of the movie are 1. bloody, 2. quite emotional and 3. utterly brave. You will come to appreciate the 360 degree emotional twist that a former superior of the unit underwent towards the ending. And the paper bag of goodies focused for a few seconds was enough to make me teary-eyed(just watch the movie to understand why I'm breaking down for such a small reason). For all its gruesomeness, I would say Silmido managed to bring out all the right emotions that even a hardcore war veteran would definitely be able to empathize.

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