"My Brother was a sad film and it was well done, though the film Friend focuses on a similar theme and pulls it off better."
My Brother (2004)
Director: An Gwon-Tae
Writer: An Gwon-Tae
Producer: Park Seong-Geun, Yang Jung-Gyeong
Cast: Kim Hae-Suk, Sin Ha-Gyun, Won Bin, Shin Ha-Gyun, Lee Bo-Young
Running Time: 112 min.
Plot: The story of two brothers, growing up in 1970s Korea, who each take two completely different paths. One goes to school to become a doctor, the other becomes a gangster. Their story is told through flashbacks after one of them is murdered.
Availability: This title is available at HKflix.com
EQUINOX21'S REVIEW: When I first heard about this film, I was really excited. It was a re-teaming of Won Bin and Shin Ha-Kyun from Guns & Talks, one of my favorite Korean films. In G&T, Won Bin plays the young naive assassin (well, they were ALL naive) and Shin Ha-Kyun was the more angry and violent assassin (but still, always funny). I was expecting something similar in My Brother based on early pictures I'd seen. Needless to say, I was confused when I started watching the film, because it turned out that Won Bin played the older, more rough and tumble brother and Shin Ha-Kyun played the quiet, studious younger brother (despite the fact that he's nearly 3 years older in real life).
The story involves the two brothers, Sung-Hyun (Shin) and Jong-Hyun (Won), about a year apart in age, but in the same high school class. Sung-Hyun was born with a cleft palate, and so his mother saved as much money as possible to pay for operations for him. She also showered him with praise, love and attention while mostly ignoring Jong-Hyun. Because of this, Jong-Hyun becomes a bully and eventually finds his way into a gang. The film, however, takes a twist that I really didn't see coming.
My Brother was a sad film and it was well done, though the film Friend focuses on a similar theme and pulls it off better. Overall it doesn't have much lasting power. People will probably forget about it fairly quickly because it doesn't really offer anything new as far as the story goes. Though I did enjoy seeing Won Bin and Shin Ha-Kyun in a movie together again, unfortunately that's probably all I'll remember about this film in the long run.
EQUINOX21'S RATING: 7/10