|"You're the bastard that stole|
my lunch sack. Give me back
Appearing to be an open and shut case, the film takes on a Rashomon quality as conflicting stories and evidence suggest there’s more to the outbreak than meets the eye. Less of a political action thriller than a crime scene investigation human drama told through flashback as Sophie E. Jean digs deep through the varying testimonies leading to the incident, Joint Security Area is as much about the ongoing Mexican standoff between North and South Korea as well as a poignant tale of friends separated by their devotion to their respective countries.
The first film in South Korea to be shot in the Super 35 widescreen format, Park Chan-wook’s first foray into mainstream cinema broke box office records in South Korea shows the intensely visual director at an early stage of his career. Chan-wook’s trademark visual precision, green tinting ala David Fincher, bird’s eye-view shots and dynamic camera movement, will be immediately familiar to fans of Oldboy and most recently the director’s first English language feature Stoker with Nicole Kidman. Chan-wook’s penchant for surreal, theatrical transitions can be spotted in key scenes, notably a suicide attempt in which a South Korean soldier tries to leap to his death through a glass window. Instead of showing him simply jumping through the window, the soldier and broken glass are held in suspended animation as the camera rotates upside down before allowing both to drop, a cartoonish effect Chan-wook would accelerate further in his Vengeance trilogy as well as the wacky romantic comedy I’m a Cyborg, But That’s Okay.
|"Stop right there. Hand over your freedom!!!"|