Opening in theatres this Friday from director Ji-kyu Kang, SK Planet and CJ Entertainment comes the inspirational true story of “My Way”.
This film tells the story of Jun-shik Kim (Dong-gun Jang), a peasant boy who has a fondness for running. While living in a village in Korea, the occupation of Japan took over the country. Coming to his village is a Tatsuo (Jo Odagiri) who is also a marathon runner.
These two boys are constantly competing against each other. Tatsuo sees Jun-shik as lowly and not worthy to win anything. When an accident happens to Tatsuo’s father, his hatred toward Jun-shik becomes full blown.
Jun-shik’s dream is to run in the Olympics but with the occupation his chances are slim. Koreans are not allowed to participate in the games until fate steps in. During the run it becomes clear that everything is going to be done to keep Jun-shik from winning.
The small village riots against the Japanese and Jun-shik is punished by being forced to fight for the Imperial Army. Tatsuo is the head of his unit and losing the battle they are captured by the Soviets. Once again these two men are at odds and losing another battle they meet again on the shores of Normandy.
It is their destiny that changes everything for the both of them.
FINAL WORD: Jan as Jun-shik is amazing and gentle. To watch him grow up around such anger and hostility, it is quite humbling to see this character continue to know who he is and what he wants. The look of sympathy, understanding and determination are what save this character and Jan makes it totally believable.
Odagiri as Tatsuo is equally amazing but with the polar opposite of anger and hatred for things out of his control. His face and voice are filled with the fear and confusion he refuses to acknowledge. He takes it out on the people around him and forgets it is these same people who could end his life as quickly. Watching this character come around is riveting.
Other cast includes: Ismail Deniz as Shuo, Michael Arnold as Father, Bingbing Fan as Shirai and In-kwon Kim as Lee Jong-dae.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “My Way” four tubs of popcorn out of five. Coming in at 137 minutes – to take away one of those minutes would diminish the telling of this story. Of course it is quite graphic at times with all that is war but also necessary for being brutally honest about the events.
The rivalry, although I believe it to be more one sided, was a tale wrapped up in the sadness of lives wasted only to be uplifted in the most self-less way. I truly enjoyed this film and what it had to offer.
In the end – In a world at war, my enemy is my salvation.