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Saturday, August 19, 2017

A Taxi Driver (택시 운전사) - Movie Review


The Movie: A Taxi Driver (택시 운전사)

The Director: Jang Hoon

The Cast: Song Kang-ho, Thomas Kretschmann, Yoo Hae-jin, Ryu Jun-yeol, Park Hyeok-gwon

The Story: A taxi driver from Seoul, incidentally gets involved in a German journalist's reporting of the events of the Gwangju Democratization Movement, also called the Gwangju Uprising, in 1980.


The Review:
One of the great things about the Korean film industry is its ability to bring the country's history to life in a very entertaining way and Jang Hoon has done a great job of this with his latest feature. to tell this story from the perspective of a taxi driver was a genius idea as it could have just as easily been told from the perspective of the German reporter or as a more sweeping ensemble piece. Kim Man-seop, played beautifully by Song Kang-ho (Snowpiercer), represents the common man perspective which really humanizes the story and allows the audience to see how the oppression and eventual uprising affected real people's lives.

Song Kang-ho is so good in this movie, I would think he would be deserving of some type of awards consideration. He adds just the right amount of humor to his character which balances out the intensity of his danger filled journey and you really believe in this former military man who has struggled with raising his daughter after losing his wife to illness. there are so many layers to who the character is and that complexity is what makes him so relatable and you root for him every step of the way. Ultimately, Mr. Kim is an unsung hero who would have been lost to obscurity if not for the efforts of Peter Jürgen Hinzpeter, the German reporter played by Thomas Kretschmann. The two would never meet again, but the reporter made sure the world knew that he never would have been able to succeed in his efforts to reveal the events unfolding in Gwangju if not for his brave taxi driver.


The Verdict:
A Taxi Driver is an action packed story that is filled with drama, comedy, intensity, and historical significance. Jang Hoon's underdog story is an amazing adventure that needs to be seen.


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