Watch The Coast Guard
- 1 hr 34 min
The Coast Guard is a South Korean war drama film directed by Kim Ki-duk and released in 2002. The movie stars Jang Dong-Gun, Jeong-hak Kim, and Ji-a Park in lead roles. The plot is centered around a young South Korean coast guard, Private Kang Sang-byeok (played by Jang Dong-Gun), who is stationed at the frontlines of the Northern Limit Line, a disputed maritime border that separates North and South Korea.
The movie starts in the year 2002 during the World Cup when Private Kang is called upon to serve his duty at a remote border surveillance outpost. The outpost is a wooden shack with no access to television or any other form of communication with the outside world. Private Kang is tasked to guard the station and make sure no North Korean boats enter the South Korean waters.
One day, he spots a group of North Koreans crossing the border, and after a brief confrontation, he captures them. However, the incident escalates, resulting in a stand-off between the North and South Korean military. The North Koreans want their men back, while the South Korean military wants to hold them to investigate their intentions. Private Kang is caught in the middle of the escalating war between the two nations.
The movie is an intense portrayal of the psychological effects of war on soldiers. Private Kang's character shows the audience the dehumanizing impact of war on people. He becomes increasingly unstable and unable to process the events in front of him as the situation at the border worsens. He sees himself and his fellow soldiers as mere pawns in a larger political conflict, and the moral ambiguity of their situation overwhelms him.
The cinematography of the movie is stunning, with sweeping shots of the landscape and the sea. The movie's score is haunting and adds to the overall feeling of dread throughout the film. There are long, unbroken takes that allow the audience to immerse themselves in the story and feel the same anxiety and angst as the soldiers.
The movie addresses the theme of brotherhood and camaraderie between soldiers. Private Kang's relationship with his fellow soldiers and commanding officer is a significant aspect of the movie. They are all in it together, and their bond transcends the political conflicts between their nation and North Korea. The themes of sacrifice and loyalty are also explored, with Private Kang and his comrades willing to risk their lives to protect their homeland.
One notable aspect of the movie is how it portrays both the North and South Koreans without resorting to caricatures. The North Koreans are shown as human beings with their motivations, and they are not just villains. The South Koreans are also portrayed as flawed and vulnerable, and there is no sense of moral superiority in the way they are depicted.
Overall, The Coast Guard is a gripping, intense war drama that showcases the impact of political conflicts on ordinary people. It is a movie that is both thought-provoking and emotionally resonant, with strong performances from the lead actors and excellent cinematography. It is definitely worth watching for anyone interested in war movies or Korean cinema in general.
The Coast Guard is a 2002 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 34 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.4.