Coast Guard (2005)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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Not one of Duk's best but still a powerful film. The film seems more confused than Duk's other work but still makes room for a rather involving story. Unlike his other work the film has an uneven pace, sometimes moving rather quickly and then moving slow, these do not juxtapose well.
Kim-Ku Duk's sparse, poetic and surreal film about the human cost of the North-South Korean border tensions is at times among his best work and and other times among his most unfocused.
The photography is very beautiful throughout, and the first half is very strong, if not exactly original. The second half, however, is both heartbreaking and maddening, beautiful and confused. The surreal overtones begin to take over and the film, through its two main characters, descends into madness. Eventually, the film loses its way and it often feels like what happens could be happening anywhere, to anyone, which makes the border setting superfluous. Still, even ammongst the flaws there is much beauty to behold. Kim-Ki Duk is certainly an artist with a sure hand who always makes the film he wants. It is up to the audience to decided if it is also the film they want.
It would make an interesting companion piece to JSA (Joint Security Area) as both are very different takes on the same situation.
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