An incident in the J.S.A. (the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea) leaves two North Korean border guards dead and one South Korean wounded, in this engrossing political thriller about murder, betrayal, and forbidden friendship along the heavily patrolled, mine-laden D.M.Z.
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Not quite to the level of later Park works, but still very good. I find the film, engaging, interesting and also very emotionally investing, perhaps moreso than his later work. The friendship at the centre of the story is beautifully tender and as a result, the final act has such a potent effect.
I think this movie is actually a better introduction to Park Chan-Wook, in my opinion, than the Vengeance trilogy. The style is there but not so baroque, and the procedural narrative makes his command of storytelling more clear. Also, it's heartbreaking and humanist. A surprisingly satisfying movie. --PolarisDiB
JSA is a perfect examples of how didn't meet the expectation doesn't always comes as a bad thing.judging by the poster and the trailer,i expect this to be a great political war thriller brought by Park chan-wook,the master of that kind of movie.the fact is,this is not a thriller(althought there are some thrilling moments).what JSA truly are is a wonderful story of friendship and pain of guilt.brillilant!
A very humanist film from modern grindhouse master, Park Chan Wook, JSA is a melodramatic thriller with political overtones. Touching even if the emotion seems calibrated and mechanical to shape fully, the male performers add a grand sense of buddy-buddy humanity to their roles that show that politics are only a trivial separator from the human relationships between people. Heartfelt, but often too on-the-nose.
4.5/5 - A brutal, yet tender showcase reel of Park Chan-wook's mesmerizing flourish behind the camera and typewriter. Korean melodrama at its very best, and thanks to its writer-director's peerless style, it has aged like fine wine, something that a few Korean movies unfortunately can't manage. Oh, and, I should also point out, it managed to pull out a tender tear from this usually dry eye.
Very uneven film. A rocky start with some horrible acting and terrible English finally gives way to an intriguing and heartfelt story about brotherhood and blood being thicker than politics. About the 90 minute mark it starts to head off the rails again but the finish is spectacular and more than makes up for that.
Joint Security Area is a mixed bag for me. I absolutely loved the story told in the flashbacks about Lee, Oh and the other two soldiers becoming friends. But then the scenes in the present with the murder investigation were just so less interesting and in my opinion really dragged the film down. The best part of this movie for me is Kang-ho Song, he steals every scene he is in.