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71 INTO THE FIRE - Lee Jae-han - 2010
The Korean War is the subject matter of this hard hitting War Drama from Director Lee Jae-han . Written by Lee Man -Hee it follows a group of Student soldiers who untrained and with little arms managed to hold off opposing forces for some eleven hours as they defended P'ohang dong girls school from attack.
The school was a strategic point in the battle for protecting the Nakdong river from a onslaught from North Korean forces.
When South Korean forces who are held up at P'ohang Dong school arrange to pull out to fight the battle at Nakdong river they leave behind a group of Student soldiers, amongst them are three delinquents who have been given the chance to fight for their country or go to prison and pay for their crimes ( sometimes meaning death by firing squad in some cases) ,the three young men pose as student soldiers and join the group to help defend the school against attack.
The commanding officer leaves a group in charge as a say acting captain of the squad.
Once the South Korean forces move out with any civilians in tow the school is left to the student soldiers . Of course it does play out a bit like a school drama at first as of course the three delinquents are bullish and don't listen ,often just doing their own thing and passing the time doing delinquent things.
The acting captain is a a bit scared at the thought of being responsible for the other students . At a time when they should be thinking about barricades and strategic plans they end up fighting amongst themselves .
But when North Korean Scouts turn up things take a turn for the worse , the North Korean forces are adamant that taking the school will be easy, even giving the students a chance to surrender and spare any loss of lives (yeah who wants to be a prisoner of war captured by North Koreans ) , its' here that the film becomes quite brutal showcasing the pains of war .
The students come together after their differences are settled , it shows how under pressure and outnumbered more then 50 – 1 that with good planning and team courage that a few can withstand the onslaught of the many .
But aside from just the violence of war it shows how much courage that a small group of teenagers can muster against a force so strong .
Remember this while watching ,this film which is based on fact ,it came about after a letter was found written by one of the 71 students ,it was this that inspired the film.
71 Into the Fire is a harsh look at war ,as it shows the lengths you have to go to to safeguard your freedom. With good performances from all involved ,even though the cast was changed from the planned inclusion of Yu Seung -Ho and Kim Beom in the lead roles to Kwon Sang-Woo ( a very popular actor and star of such films of Volcano High and Once Upon A High School) and TOP from Korean Boy Group Big Bang.
As far as the battles are concerned ,they are gritty and someone looking for epic war battles will find that in the pyrotechnic department it delivers to .
There are no heroes in war just people trying to protect their lands and way of life,and 71 Into the Fire portrays that perfectly.
Reviewed by Jonas Namm
Review Date :20-10-2012
|Directed by||Lee Jae-Han |
|Produced by|| |
Jeong Tae Won
|Written by|| |
|Starring||Cha Seung-won |
|Distributed by||CJ Entertainment|
|Release date(s)|| |
June 16, 2010
|Box office||$20.7 million|