Published on October 11th, 2012 | by Chris4
The Front Line (2011)
As the Korean War (well the shooting anyway) drew to a close in 1953, the Aerok Hills are still being fought over in a desperate series of battles. The area changes hands frequently in bloody conflicts, with immense costs. If I had to draw a parallel to an American film, The Front Line would probably come close to Hamburger Hill.
(You'll have to forgive me when it comes to keeping track of everyone's name in this movie, I failed miserably, just because they're difficult to remember due to the language barrier! I know this sounds terrible, but its damned difficult.)
The film opens with one of two South Korean soldiers being released from captivity at the start of the war, which according to their captor (which we see again at the end of course) will only last a couple of weeks. Needless to say, that isn't the case, and eventually the two are reunited at the front lines at Aerok.
The especially heinous part of the movie comes as the cease-fire is signed, but doesn't take affect for another day. So both sides decide that they must undertake one last ultimately pointless battle for the area. Both sides know it's pointless, but yet they feel its their duty to do this. Its pretty crushing to think what they would be going through at this point.
There is a subplot which I admit to not fully understanding (maybe I missed something key here), involving a communist spy in the ranks of the South. I don't think this plot really went anywhere, and may have just served as a vehicle to get the two back together.
The battles are of course long and bloody, very graphic stuff. At the end of each, the group retakes the same bunker where they've been swapping goods such as wine and cigarettes with their counterparts on the other side. This actually serves a valuable purpose, to cement the movies point that this battle is really stupid and pointless. That they shouldn't be fighting here at all, and there really isn't any difference between them, except for a line in the sand.
Also of note is the subplot involving the sniper "two seconds" (so named because you don't hear the shot until two seconds after you're dead.) I won't spoil the outcome of this, but it makes for an interesting twist throughout.
The Koreans also have a penchant for melodrama. The soundtrack is noticably this way, sounding at times like its straight out of a television soap opera. Coupled with numerous scenes of screaming and crying young soldiers... It can sometimes come across as cheesy to us, but its just how it is done. (I'm currently trying to get through the Korean war-move series "Road No. 1" and it is about four-times as melodramatic as this!!)
The Front Line is a quality addition to a slim Korean War Movie library. We need more perspectives like this into the "Forgotten War."
Front Line [DVD/Blu-ray Combo]
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In February 1951, in Korea, while the armistice negotiation still faces difficulties, the battle continues in the Eastern front line, on the Aero.K. A company commander of the South Korean army dies in battle, and the bullet found in his body belongs to the South Korean army...
DVD InformationBinding: Blu-ray
Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)
Manufacturer: Well Go USA
Original Release Date:
- Shin Ha-Kyun
- Ko Soo
- Soo Go
- Factory sealed DVD
Summary: The Front Line is a quality addition to a slim Korean War Movie library. We need more perspectives like this into the "Forgotten War."