Coast Guard (2005)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
Kim Ki-duk's Haeanseon (The Coast Guard) is set on the South Korean coastline. Kang Han-cheol (Jang Dong-gun) is an eager military private who wants nothing more than to shoot a North Korean spy. The villagers in town are at odds with the military presence because they claim there are no more spies. One night Kang sees two people on the beach who turn out to be a local girl and her boyfriend engaged in sexual intercourse. Kang shoots the young man and is celebrated by his fellow officers even though the villagers are outraged. The Coast Guard was the opening film at the Pusan Film Festival. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Coast Guard
Audience Reviews for Coast Guard
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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