Showing posts with label Escape from Mogadishu (Kmovie) 4.5 || 4.5. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Escape from Mogadishu (Kmovie) 4.5 || 4.5. Show all posts

27 December 2021

K Movie Review: Escape from Mogadishu (2021) 4.5 || 4.5

This film viewing is long overdue. Oppa has been pestering me to watch this one but we had to catch up on our on-air dramas and reviews before we could finally squeeze in some movie time. And, it was worth the wait. 


Escape from Mogadishu is a real-life story set in the late '80s and early '90s. At that time, both North and South Korea were lobbying to be admitted to the United Nations. Vote-rich Africa, including Somalia where the story is set, was a battleground for the two Koreas. The story begins with the early stages of the Somalian civil war. As the instability progresses in the country, the situation becomes more and more dangerous. Rioters are looting houses and embassies. As the North Korean embassy is taken over by the rebels, the North Koreans had no choice but to ask for assistance from the South Koreans. The story takes us through how the two Koreas momentarily work together and help each other escape war-torn Mogadishu. 


The cast was great. They all managed to look and act like people from several decades ago. My favorites from the South Korean side would have to be the ambassador, Han Sin Seong (Kim Yoon Seok of 1987 When the Day Comes), and intelligence officer, Kang Dae Jin (Jo In Sung). They made a good pair and their rapport really worked well on camera. 

I also loved North Korean intelligence officer Tae Joon Ki (Koo Kyo Hwan of D.P.). If this were my first time to watch Koo Kyo Hwan, I would have probably been annoyed with how arrogant he was. But because I've seen him in D.P., I ended up loving him anyway. This movie is proof that he is a great actor. 

Oppa found the earlier parts of the film dragging. But I was hooked right away. It reminded me of Argo, another embassy-related real-life movie. In any case, whatever drag Oppa felt was completely removed when chaos ensued in Mogadishu. I was hyperventilating everytime someone had to venture out into the streets with risk of being caught by the rebels. 

The most appealing part of the film for me was the cooperation of the 2 Koreas in accomplishing their common goal of safely escaping the country. It was nice to see 2 countries who were distrustful of each other try to work together. 

It's sad to note though that according to the real South Korean ambassador at that time, Ambassador Kang, South Korea actually offered to help the North Koreans even before the latter asked. ( I'm not sure if this part was omitted to avoid offending the North's sensibilities. But I felt that it was crucial to remain faithful to the real story in this aspect. 

The article also mentioned that a North Korean diplomat was really fatally shot during that dangerous trip from the South Korean embassy to the Italian embassy. And the Somali forces really mistook them as armed rebels that's why they were being chased by Somalian soldiers. And it was Italy that helped them escape. 

There were omissions and variations from the truth which I found acceptable. For instance, I would have loved to see the scene where the South Korean ambassador and a North Korean diplomat waved the South Korean flag together. But I completely understand how offensive that might have been for the other party. 

I was also surprised to know that the South Korean ambassador just really insisted on taking the North Koreans with them when he negotiated their flight with the Italian ambassador. But I loved the twist the film put wherein the South Korean ambassador supposedly told the Italians that the North Koreans were defecting so they could be allowed on the flight. 

It was bittersweet to see the two groups part ways in Kenya without acknowledging each other, knowing that being associated with the other group could have dire consequences. But I would have loved to see more of the "family" feeling that Ambassador Kang described. That would have probably been more appealing. 

Over all, the film was great. It was an interesting way to learn about Korea's history again. Most of the time, the stuff that were not accurate were forgivable. The most important thing is knowing that when the going gets really tough, we can still choose to be kind and humane, even towards people whom we consider as enemies. 

Oppa says...4.5

Noona says...4.5.