The Coast Guard (Hae Anseon)

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Nau of Sands
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The Coast Guard (Hae Anseon)

Postby Nau of Sands » Sun 11 Dec, 2005 01:30

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The coast guard is a korean movie directed by Kim Ki Duk just one year before Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring (Bom, yeorum, gaeul, gyeowool, geurigo, bom) .

The subject is very different, this time this is the story of Kang Sang-byeong (Dong-Kun Jang), a young soldier in a unit of the south korean army guarding a part of the frontier between North and South Korea.

As apparently North Korea sometimes sends spies, this mission is taken with much attention, and anyone crossing the line and seen in the no-mans-land of the border can be shot without warning by the army.

But Kang takes it far more seriously than others. He aims at being the elite of this unit, and trains far longuer than his fellows in the already very difficult exercices they have to perform daily. He lives his duty with intensity and has no clear border between his soldier life and his private life, as he always talks about his military life to friends. The day when a spy will show on the border, Kang will be ready.

But spies do not appear often these times, and, except for Kang, the exercices are more considered as routine than anything else by the soldiers.

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One night he is on duty, Kang sees something moving in the dark thanks to infrared devices. He decides then to apply the rules : shoot on the presumed spy and see what is going on after. Then he opens fire and discovers that he shot dead a fisherman of the village nearby who was there to be quiet with his girlfriend and make love. This accident causes a sharp tension with the village, as the soldiers are not popular among them, and these kind of things happen too often when they feel the soldiers are supposed to defend them, not to kill them.

Antway, Kang is warmly rewarded by the officers, as he did his duty with great reliance.

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The real story of this movie only begins there, as the two main protagonist of the accident, Kang and the fisherman's girlfriend, Mi-yeong (Ji-a Park), who saw a man killed for no reason just under her eyes enter in madness in a parralel manner, but for different reasons.

Kang is traumatised by the fact he actually killed someone, and that for the first time it wasn't an exercise, but a heavy responsability, Mi-Yeaon becomes lunatic because of the shock.

Or are they both really mad ? Because their acts seem to drive towards a definite objective : provoking the coast guard unit, and much of what they do seems to bear some sense.

Then Kim Ki Duk sets a story of three different madnesses, Kang's one, Mi-Yean's one and the worst of all, the madness of the military unit as a whole. And there seems to be no limit for any of these.

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A beautiful movie, like in his other movies, Kim Ki Duk does much art with his photography and the story gets you involved and fascinated.

It seems that he spent himself some years in the army and apparently didn t had such a good experience there, he wanted us to share it in a way, and it definitely doesn t makes the Korean army attractive  :D

I found it very good, but had the feeling it could have been better, I give it a 4/6. Really worth to be seen.

To me, it lacks some subtelty though, I would have liked more developments of the story not in black and white as it is there. But it is clearly intentionnal and The Coast Guard is a good movie.

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Postby Rawhide » Sun 11 Dec, 2005 02:39

This sounds like a good one!!!
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