Director: Seong-hoon Kim.
I don't watch enough world cinema, let alone South Korean films, the country that gave us incredible flicks like Oldboy and Sky Blue (Wonderful Days) so when I see there's a showing at my other local cinema, I had to go and I didn't regret it.
Seong-hoon Kim, director of the highly acclaimed A Hard Day (now on my watchlist) tells us a story of a business man (Jung-woo Ha) who is on his way home to wife and daughter and unfortunately becomes trapped in a near fatal accident when a tunnel collapses on him and his car. We see his blight as he struggles to survive and how he comes to terms with the reality of what's happening.
There's a superb balance between him and the outside world who is attempting to rescue him, witnessing empathy, sympathy and later tragedy but also the lack of, from the media and politicians causing conflict about what's the right thing to do.
It's touching, when seeing the lengths people will go to in offering help in a time of crisis, like the radio station for example, playing him messages of support each day. This show of humanity reminded me of the epic TV movie of the late eighties, Everybody's Baby: The Rescue of Jessica McClure and the more recent World Trade Center, only fundamental difference, this not being a true story.
Sometimes I felt like being a passerby, watching the train wreck happen right before you, seeing things going from bad to worse without being able to lift a finger to do anything. But on the flip side it's purposefully comical to display another side of what it is to be human.
There's incredible performances for the three key characters, especially Cloud Atlas star Doona Bae who plays his grieving wife having to deal with the press whilst trying to do as much as she possibly can to aid the rescue. And Dal-su Oh is superb as the chief, who's in charge of the operation who has this moral obligation to save him.
The film is loaded with tough decisions and moral issues questioning you, what would you do if you were either of the three characters. It did drag, but only ever so slightly for the 126min running time. Has got an amazing score from Young-Jin Mok and the set pieces are on point with some amazing camera work.
I wouldn't recommend this for viewers with fear of tunnels or claustrophobia but a great drama with some amazing performances, a must-see for world cinema drama fans.
Running Time: 7
The Cast: 8
Job Description: 8
The Extra Bonus Point: 0