Movie Review: Welcome to Dongmakgol

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Major spoiler alert! You have been warned. Read at your own risk.

Welcome to Dongmakgol is simply amazing and is a must watch for all Korean movie lovers or any movie lover, in general. The 2005 film is set during the Korean War in 1950 and stars Jung Jae Young, Shin Ha Kyun, Kang Hye Jung, Im Ha Ryong, Seo Jae Kyung, Ryu Deok Hwan, and Steve Taschler.

I decided to watch this movie since I really wanted a good laugh as I’m currently watching Gap Dong (which is a pretty intense drama, if you have watched it). And the movie didn’t fail me, well at first. About in the middle of the film, you can expect to bawl your eyes out. No, seriously. Expect this movie to play with your emotions, making you laugh so hard and cry so hard both at the same time, and of course, expect to be on the edge of your sit. This definitely didn’t fall behind on all the action. This is a war movie, after all.

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I absolutely love Kang Hye Jung. She’s basically the primary reason why I watched this film, and she sure didn’t disappoint in this project. She played the role so well, you can’t help but fall in love with her character. How she’s not at all afraid of the soldiers’ guns or grenades will make your stomach hurt from laughing. And the scene when she died, you wouldn’t be able to hold your tears in even if you tried to. That scene was the beginning of countless more heartbreaks.

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This isn’t just about the Korean war, it’s also a heartwarming movie about the blossoming friendship between people who came from two completely different sides. I absolutely loved the bromance between the North and South Korean soldiers who were forced to live in the same village and work together to help the locals. And how they all came together to protect the villagers who were nothing but nice to outsiders like them made my heart flutter.

When all of them protected and looked after each other, it made me hope that they would be coming back to Dongmakgol and live together peacefully. But the moment all of them – those who remained alive – stopped fighting and just stood there, smiling at each other told me I’m not getting the ending I wanted. When Smith looked back and cried, hearing the bombs and knowing that his new-found friends met death broke my heart into millions of pieces.

Everything about this film is amazing is so many levels. The only thing that really bothered me was how they portrayed the other soldiers. They were portrayed as violent and lacking of loyalty. But nonetheless, this one is a much highly-recommended film.

Note: credits to all owners of photos used for this blog

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