Current user rating: 92/100 (216 votes)
Towards the end of the Korean War an uneasy ceasefire is ordered, but out on the Eastern front line of the Aerok Hills fierce fighting continues. A race to capture a strategic point to determine a new border between the two Koreas is the ultimate prize.
A bullet is then found in the body of dead company commander of the South Korean army. The bullet that killed the company commander belongs to the South Korean army. Lieutenant of the Defense Security Command Kang Eun-Pyo (Shin Ha-Kyun) is ordered to go out into the Eastern front line and investigate the murder. When Kang Eun-Pyo arrives in the Aerok Hills he is surprised to find his old friend Kim Soo-Hyuk (Ko Soo) commanding troops in the Aerok Hills. Kang Eun-Pyo believed Kim Soo-Hyuk was dead.
In their younger years, Kim Soo-Hyuk was a meek student, but he eventually became the leader of Aerok company as a lieutenant. The situation in the Aerok company raises many flags in the eyes of Kang Eun-Pyo. Soldiers wear North Korean uniforms inside due to the cold weather, a 20-year-old leads troops as a captain and the reappearance of his old friend Kim Soo-Hyuk. The countdown to the ceasefire begins as the lives of countless soldiers fall to the wayside ...
Additional Cast Members:
Q&A (Busan International Film Festival)
Press conference for "The Front Line" took place at the 2011 Busan International Film Festival on October 8, 2011. Appearing as speakers are actors Ryu Seung-Soo, Ko Soo (pictured), Lee Je-Hoon (pictured), Ko Chang-Seok (pictured), Lee Da-Wit (pictured) and director Jang Hun. AsianWiki editor Ki Mun was there and transcribed/translated the session.
- Moderator - Hello, could the director introduce himself first?
- Jang Hun (director) - Hello, nice to meet you at the Busan International Film Festival. (talks to cast) Let's say hello to audience. All attention ... bow. I am Jang Hun, the diector of "The Front Line." Thank you for the welcome and I will now pass the mic to the actors. Here is Lee Da-Wit who played Nam Sung-Sik. He is the darling of "The Front Line."
- Lee Da-Wit (actor) - Hello, I'm Lee Da-Wit who played Private Nam Sung-Sik. Thank you for coming and watching the movie. Did you enjoy the movie?
- Lee Da-Wit (actor) - Thank you. I am so happy to come to the Busan International Film Festival. Hope you enjoy.
- Ko Chang-Seok (actor) - Hi, I am Ko Chang-Seok. Compared to the size of the other actor's faces, I look like I am standing 2 steps ahead of them, but I'm actually standing behind them. Thank you for watching the "The Front Line."
- Lee Je-Hoon (actor) - Hi, I am Lee Je-Hoon who played Captain Shin Il-Young. Thank you for watching the movie and I am so happy to see you in Busan. I hope you have a good time today. Thank you.
- Ko Soo (actor) - Hello, I am Ko Soo who played Kim Soo-Hyuk in "The Front Line." Nice to meet you. This is my first time coming to the Busan International Film Festival. It is way better than I expected. I didn't expect so many people here. There's also a lot of cameras here. Please take good pictures of me. You have all watched the movie. After the movie was released, I went to the theaters to say hello for a good while. It's been a whlie since saying hi to you. Thank you.
- Ryu Seung-Soo (actor) - Hello, I am Ryu Seung-Soo who played Oh Ki-Young in "The Front Line." There is a whole lot of people here taking pictures. I feel like we are greeting the audience when the movie was first released. The Busan International Film Festival is special and Lee Da-Wit said to enjoy. So I will show you something for your enjoyment. Lee Da-Wit come forward (Ryu Seung-Soo walks forward and Lee Da-Wit comes forward as well). Let's hear "The Front Line Serenade" (전선야곡). The song you sang in the movie.
- Lee Da-Wit (actor) - I haven't sang a song for a while and I can't sing good, but I will go ahead and sing the song for you (Lee Da-Wit sings the song and the audience enthusiastically applauses).
- Ryu Seung-Soo (actor) - Ok, now sing a pop song.
- Lee Da-Wit (actor) - (pauses) I'll sing SECRET's "Secret Moonlight" (he sings the pop song).
- Ryu Seung-Soo (actor) - Thank you Lee Da-Wit.
- Audience Question - Hello, I am a Busan resident who watched "The Front Line" seven times so far. Welcome to Busan. A common mistake made by a lot of war movies is that they get over emotional before the audience does. "The Front Line" doesn't make that mistake. One of the reasons why I like the movie so much is because of this. When I read the end credits I noticed the music director is Jang Young-Gyu. I know he is in charge of the music, but did you give any directions to him as the movie director? I also want to know why you chose the song "The Front Line Serenade" which appears throughout the movie?
- Jang Hun (director) - "The Front Line Serenade" was already in the scenario when I was asked to direct the movie. I then talked it over with our screen writer Park Sang-Yeon and we concluded that "The Front Line Serenade" did fit the movie the most among historical songs. Sometimes music can make the movie emotional, but since we filmed a war that was still ongoing we worried if the song would make the movie feel too commercial. I talked with the staff and we set a tone to balance it out. We didn't use moving cameras to follow the characters or the grenades.
- Audience Question - Question is for director Jang Hun. I liked your previous films, but I loved "The Front Line." There's mostly favorable comments about the movie's anti-war message. I don't know whether you know it or not, but there's a fan made video called "The Adult version of Aerok Hills." Ko Soo and Shin Ha-Kyun are in love with each other and then Lee Je-Hoon becomes involved in the relationship. The story ends with their downfall. The fan made video is comprised of still images from the movie. This could happen. In your movies, the charms of the male actors are amplified. I'm curious how you communicated with the male actors, who all seem to have different personalities, and give them direction on the shooting set? Also, I hope Lee Je-Hoon wins all the best new actor prizes at the film awards. I think your going to join the army next year? I really want to take your place in the army instead of you (person speaking is a female). I love you totally!
- Jang Hun (director) - I didn't know about this adult version of Aerok Hills. So far I've made 3 films and they are all centered around male characters. I guess it's because of a comfort level and being familiar with that view point. When working with the actors they are all different and must be prodded in different ways. It really depends on the actor.
- Audience Question - Who gave you the hardest time?
- Jang Hun (director) - Ryu Seung-Soo, because he had so many ideas. On the shooting set, he gave so many suggestions. There's one scene where his character grabs human feces and that was his idea.
- Audience Question - This question is for Ko Soo. I think your character Kim Soo-Hyuk is quite complicated. I think the director created the character and you had to interpret the character. Were there any differences in opinions about him and did you have to make any compromises? Also, which scene was the most difficult to perform?
- Ko Soo (actor) - Thank you. When I read the original script I though Kim Soo-Hyuk had a lot of charisma. Very manly (audience laughs). I drank a lot of alcohol yesterday. I think if I stay in Busan longer I will become trashed. Yes, I thought Kim Soo-Hyuk had a macho persona, but as I talked more with director Jang Hun I realized my character wasn't so macho. Kim Soo-Hyuk took care of his unit. Early in the filming, director Jang Hun talked with me a lot about my character, but a month later he didn't say much to at all about him. I think we built a level of trust by then.
- Audience Question - To Ko Chang-Seok, in the beginning portions of the film, before the battle scenes, you gave something to Ryu Seung-Soo and Lee Da-Wit to eat. Do you remember what it was?
- Ko Chang-Seok (actor) - Yes, that is a kudzu root. The scene is before the battle scene. Kudzo root isn't for eating. I gave them the kudzu root to chew on and clog their ears with. After several takes the kudzu root became really short.
- Audience Question - I have some questions for Ko Soo. Me and my group stayed overnight in Centum City to come see you. I'm curious what grade you would give yourself for your performance? Also, were there any scenes you had difficulties with and if so which ones? Also, have you recorded the commentary for your character yet? Lastly, what's next on your schedule and when are you going back to Seoul?
- Ko Soo (actor) - Thank you. During the filming, the thing I thought about the most was having a close bond with the actors. We filmed the movie in rural areas for several months and I tried to do everything with the other actors. Then, in front of the camera, hopefully our camaraderie felt genuine? About grading myself. I'm content with my performance and I recommend the film to others that haven't watched it. We have not done the DVD commentary yet. When we do, I'll speak more and faster than now. About our schedule after this. We will have dinner together.
- Audience Question - Where are you going to have dinner at?
- Ko Soo (actor) - I don't know where. There wasn't such a scene in the movie. I don't understand (smiles).
- Audience Question - Question for director Jang Hun. In the movie good and evil is mixed, like it's beyond good and evil. Also, in the movie Saint Wonhyo's skull water is mentioned several times. Why was that? There's still a historical wound in Korea, how did you decide to approach that? Last question is for Lee Je-Hoon. After the movie have you experienced changes?
- Jang Hun (director) - The story of Saint Wonhyo was put in the movie because of Ryu Seung-Soo's character. When we filmed "The Front Line," I didn't think about good and evil. I consider South Korea and North Korea to be the same and wanted to shoot the war as it is. I think war itself is evil and not the people fighting the war. The soldiers have no choice but to fight and fight for their survival. I wanted to show that in "The Front Line." Our country is still recovering from that period. The older generation went through a lot more pain, more than we can imagine. I think our generation has to find a way for peace. We have a lot of things to think about and sort out.
- Lee Je-Hoon (actor) - While shooting the movie, I was nervous and felt a lot of pressure. There were moments where I kind of shut myself away from the others. I was isolated, but the other actors helped me out a great deal. During the filming, I realized I could get energy and help by working together with the other actors. In the future, If I can talk and communicate more I will do so. The movie made me realize the benefits of that.
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[[[Category:South Korean films]]