South Korea is slowly making its mark in the international movie scene. It made a big splash via the 2017 hit movie, Train to Busan (available on Netflix). Now the world is taking notice what Korean filmmakers are churning out. Here are only a few noteworthy movies from South Korea.
Be with you
Directed by Lee Jang-hoon, Be with you is a love story based on the Japanese novel of Takuji Ichikawa of the same name. Jang-hoon and Kang Soo-jine wrote the screenplay. Soo-ah promised her husband, Woo-jin, and son, Ji-ho, that when she passes away, she will come back to them after one year, on a rainy day. Ji-ho prays for the rainy season to come quickly. When it does, Soo-ah does come back, but with no memory of what happened. Movie Rock is the production company behind the film. It came out in March 2018 and was distributed by Lotte Entertainment. It grossed USD 19.4 million at the box office.
Stand by Me
Written and directed by Bang Soo-in, Stand by Me is a family drama. A grandfather raises his 2 grandchildren, Deok-Goo and Deok-Hee, after he drives out his daughter-in-law for taking all his son’s life insurance money. As the children see their friends with their mothers, they resent their grandfather. The grandfather soon learn that he is dying from a terminal illness. He tries to prepare for the future of his grandchildren when he is gone. The film was released in April 2018. It was well-received by the movie-going public as it is influenced by a closely-held Korean values, love for family and respect for elders.
Along with the Gods
Kim Yong-hwa helms the action-fantasy Along with the Gods: The Last 49 days, based on the webtoon created by Joo Ho-min. The story revolves around the death of firefighter, Kim Soo-hong. In the afterlife, he is welcomed by grim reapers Gang-rim, Haewonmak, and Lee Deok-hoon. The grim reapers guide him and help him pass different trials to be able to be reincarnated. The plot is closely tied to the Koreans’ belief in grim reapers. Produced by Realies Production and Dexter Studios for USD 18.3 million, it was distributed by Lotte Entertainment in August 2018 and earned USD 92.5 million at the box office.
The Princess and the Matchmaker
Under the direction of Hong Chang-pyo and from the script of Lee So-mi come this period romantic comedy about a fortune teller who was tasked by the King to find the perfect match for his daughter, Princess Song-Hwa. Koreans are quite fond of fortune-telling so the movie did quite well at the box office and was seen by over 1 million viewers after 1 week of its theatrical run, and was one of the most hugely successful and best Korean movies streaming. It grossed USD 9.9 million. It was distributed by CJ Entertainment, from the Jupiter Film production company.
Korean movies usually deal with customs, traditions, and values close to their hearts. The world is finding out that Korean movie themes also resonate in them as their values are quite similar to that of Koreans. Expect more Korean film productions to make waves worldwide.