12 May 2014

Friend Movie Review

Title: Friend
AKA: Chingoo
Genre: Crime, Drama, Friendship
Origin: Korea
Release date: 31 March 2001
Cast: Yu Oh Seong, Jang Dong Gun, Seo Tae Hwa and Jung Woon Taek.

The story follows 4 childhood friends who reunite after being separated in middle school. Joon Suk (Yu Oh Seong) is the son of a mobster, the strongest and the leader of the 4 man gang. Dong Soo (Jang Dong Gun) is the son of a mortician, and also the second strongest. The two are generally bad in school and usually get beef because of their backgrounds by the teachers. Sang Taek (Seo Tae Hwa) is a middle class person, but is really clever and does very good in school. And lastly the groups goof Jung Ho (Jung Woon Taek) who usually gets the group free stuff since his mother goes abroad a lot.
The story takes a turn when the boys fall for the same girl from a band, and Dong Soo starts to feel inferior to Joon Suk. This doesn’t split the group but when Sang Taek gets beat up by some high shoolers from another school because of that very girl, the boys defend him against almost the entire hord of the high school. After being expelled from the school Dong Soo decides to join a gang, which is the rival gang of Joon Suks father’s gang. After the death of Joon Suks father, Joon Suk takes the spot as the mobster boss, putting the two friends against each other…

My number one reason for watching this is because of the huge amount of reference in Korean variety and Korean TV. This is one of the most famous Korean movies and is one of those with high commercial success, not that I always agree with the Korean audience. To put bluntly the movie is weird, not bad and not boring, but you somehow have this terrible gut feeling the entire way through, either feeling bad or confused about the results. It is one of those kinds of movies that speaks of the Korean culture, with that I mean the ACTUAL culture and not the romantic Korean drama version. The movie is not bad, especially if you like those down to earth yet realistic movies (realistic is the best word for this movie).
I like that the theme ‘Friendship’ really is thorough, even though there is a lot of gangs and fighting involved, not to mention mobsters. The general thing is about these 4 and their friendship through the movie, also of course how they grow apart but still have the lingering feelings of their time together.
To sum up: a real gem and the acting is really good.

☆☆☆☆ / 4 out of 5 stars

♥♥♥½ / 3½ out of 5 hearts

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