Welcome to the first edition of UKP’s Film Fridays! Every fortnight I’ll be recommending you a great Korean film to watch if you fancy a night in, and I’m going to start off with the film, My Way.

My Way is a South Korean war film released in 2011, starring Jang Dong Gun, alongside Japanese actor Joe Odagiri and Chinese actress Fan Bingbing. My Way was actually inspired by the true story of a Korean man named Yang Kyeong Jong who throughout the span of the Second World War had been conscripted by the Japanese Imperial Army, then been forced into the Russian and German armies too, before being captured by the Americans on D-Day.

The beginning of the film sees us in Gyeong Seong (modern-day Seoul) in 1928, and a young Kim Jun Shik meets Hasegawa Tatsuo for the first time, the son of the owners of the farm that Jun Shik and his family work for in Japanese-occupied Korea. We see the two grow up together, harbouring a dislike for each other that just grows with the years as they become more and more competitive. After the death of Tatsuo’s grandfather at the hands of Korean freedom fighters, Tatsuo and Jun Shik part ways on worse terms than ever, but the coming of the Second World War sees the two brought back together in 1939 when some Korean men are forcibly drafted into the Imperial Army.

The relationship between Tatsuo and Jun Shik slowly begins to change when their Battalion becomes prisoners of war when overwhelmed by the Russian Army. Through the years of treacherous conditions and the constant threat of death together, the most unlikely friendship is born.


This film was pretty unique in the fact that despite being a Korean production, the majority of the dialogue is not in Korean, but mostly in Japanese, with the occasional Russian and German parts. This really helps keep the film true to the situation of the time the film is set in, as I’m sure many Koreans would have had to have learnt Japanese under the Imperial rule, and anywhere that prisoners of war would have been sent, I’m sure they must have had to pick up the language quickly in order to survive.


My Way was such an awe-inspiring film, and realising that it was based on true events really brought home the fact that this was the experience of many people during the war who were taken far from their homes with no choice. We see how war changes the characters in this film, some turning cruel and brutal while others break and cling to any familiarity they can. It was a stark retelling of some of the event s of the Second World War, and a truly enjoyable film.

My Way is obviously a war film, and contains a fair amount of gore and unwavering cruelty during the battle scenes, but we also see moments of friendship and nostalgia that really humanises this film. Perhaps don’t watch this film if you are easily distressed by the suffering of others or by death and gore, but I would definitely recommend this film to anyone who appreciates war films. Overall though, My Way is engrossing and so remarkable that I think it would capture most people’s interest, even if war films aren’t your usual genre of choice.


Have you seen this film? Planning on watching it? Let us know what you think! I’ll see you next week for Thriller Thursday!


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UnitedKpop's resident film connoisseur.