[MHN Park Hye-bin / translated by Roh Pooleun] Movie 'Steel Rain 2: Summit' has been unveiled.
The movie is a film about a crisis of nuclear war after the three leaders of South Korea, North Korea, and the U.S., were kidnapped in a North Korean nuclear submarine by a North Korean coup, which happend during inter-Korean summit. Director Yang Woo-suk said "I think it is my role to simulate these situations at a time when the division of the two Koreas has become more complicated amid the U.S.-China conflict", for the reason of producting the series.
'Steel Rain 2 : Summit' shares the critical consciousness of peace on the Korean peninsula, compared to the previous series, 'Steel Rain', but unlike usual sequels, the movie has complementary properties. The previous film 'Steel Rain' dealt with issues related to war and South Korea's nuclear armament, while the current film deals with internal collapse of North Korea and peaceful denuclearization, leading to ultimate peace on the peninsula. Also, as China has an emerging hegemonic power, the U.S.-China conflict intensifies, and the movie shows an expanded view of related issues.
The casting has been a new attempt. Same actors from the previous film appear, though they appear with different roles and their nationalities are reversed as well. Director Yang explained the reason, saying, "It is to show that the two Kroeas have changed their positions and that the Korean Peninsula issue cannot be solved only by our will".
The movie drew attention with casting veteran actors such as Jung Woo-sung, Kwak Do-won and Yoo Yeon-seok.
Jung Woo-sung plays the role of president of South Kroea, who is agonizing over peace on the Korean peninsula, showing a sense of responsibility and sacrifice between the leaders of North Korea and the U.S. to sign a peace treaty.
Yoo Yeon-seok made a dramatic change in his acting, in the movie. He plays the role of North's leader who is pushing for denuclearization and openness, and changed his hairstyle and speech. Some critics say that the movie glorified the real person, but the original purpose of the cast, which was not intended to be reminiscent of the real person, seems to have been achieved.
Kwak Do-won, who plays the role of Park Jin-woo, the general director of the North Guards, clearly shows his strong and heavy presence in the film as the main driver of the coup. Given that he staged a coup based on patriotism, not just for gaining power, Kwak convincingly described a contradictory character that cannot be dismissed as a mere villain. However, he ignored his subordinates in a desperate situation and insisted on orders that inevitably causes annihilation, which seemed more like an extreme perversity than a belief.
In fact, the true hero in the movie is Jang Ki-seok the deputy commander of the North Korean nuclear submarine, neither the president of South Korea nor the chairman of the North. Jang Ki-seok, played by actor Sin Jeong-geun, is North Korea's top strategist and responsible for the safety of the three leaders, as well as making a brilliant contribution in the submarine battle. In the second half of the movie, he has a strong interaction with Jung Woo-sung, where his presence and ability stand out especially. It is questionable why Jang Ki-seok is not the main character but the supporting character.
Director Yang said "My movies are often misunderstood and controversial but I think it's my destiny. There can be a variety of perspectives on this movie. But I think education, diplomacy and security are things that we should see together as an entirety".
Both his previous films 'The Attorney' and 'Steel Rain' were controversial before screening. When the preview of 'Steel Rain 2' was released, it was criticized for showing a biased political stance in glorifying the North and expressing the U.S. president in a ridiculous way.
However, the leader of North Korea has been set up as a person who seeks reconciliation in the process of expressing the two sides of the North, and the head of the Guards has only been set up as a person who pursues war. As both previous films were re-evaluated after release, it is desirable to serve it as an opportunity to ponder the question posed by the film, 'what can we do to overcome the division and move toward peace?', rather than overindulging by comparing the cinematic devices with the real person.
The movie 'Steel Rain 2 : Summit' will be released on July 29.
[MHN Review] What can we do for peace in Korean peninsula? (Movie 'Steel Rain 2')