Escape from Mogadishu
In keeping up with some films from world cinema, I decided to watch and review the Korean film Escape From Mogadishu which was South Korea’s official entry to the Academy Awards. At the time of writing this review, the movie is out of the Oscar race after failing to make the cut. But Korea does come up with gems and I was hoping this one is as well. Also, I am a fan of culture and here the story being set in Mogadishu which is the capital of Somalia just made things interesting for me. Is the film worth your time, stay tuned!
Story & Screenplay
As the title suggests, Escape From Mogadishu is the story of a group comprising of North and South Koreans who join forces to escape from.a war torn country in the early 90s. The story goes beyond your escape story. It has many layers of political diplomacy and basic human trust between the members of the two nations. So in a way this story does give a sneak peek into three different cultures – North Korea, South Korea and Somalia. The screenplay is quite well written although nothing very novel. There is a good amount of buildup before the action finally sets in. The writers are successful in establishing the dynamics between two countries who are not known to be friends. Despite having a similar culture, the amount of distrust was quite evident. The tension created oncr the action begins is pretty palpable. It does add that layer of uncertainty. But this tale goes beyond that of survival. The gentle bond that the members form slowly and steadily is shown with great restraint. It just goes to show that with little trust and effort, everyone can work together. The pre climax and the climax are really well executed and they leave you at the edge of your seats. The predictable twists and turns do keep you on your toes culmimating into an end which does make you teary eyed, something that I felt in the Korean film As One. Overall, a nicely written screenplay although nothing that we haven’t watched already.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are well penned and the restrain with which they are written really leaves a lasting impact. The BGM is pretty good and does its bit in heightening the drama. The cinematography is excellent and it makes you a silent bystander to all the action around. Director Seung-Wan Ryoo does a fabulous job is keeping things taut but also maintaining that emotional thread throughout.
The performances are pretty good. Kyo-Hwan Koo as Tae Joon-Ki is excellent and has a lovely character arc. As does In-Sung Jo as Kang Dae-Jin. Joon-Ho Huh as Rim and Kim Yoon-seok as Han are both outstanding are they subtly compliment each other so well. All other performers are good although I would have liked a few actors from Somalia also being cast in pivotal roles.
Escape From Mogadishu is a story that goes beyond that of survival and escape. It has those heartfelt emotions of universal brotherhood that is much required in today’s times.