How far will a man go in the name of revenge? In the waters off of South Asia, a treacherous scheme is being carried out that will result in the death of millions across the Korean Peninsula. From South Korea’s leading director, Kwak Kyung-Taek, comes Typhoon, a full-tilt action film about two men who may have been friends under different circumstance but are forced to become enemies. Shot in Korea, Russia and Thailand, Kwak brings his impressive blend of realism and empathy to create a film where multiple storylines intertwine. Typhoon tells the story of a refugee, Choi Myong Sin (JANG DON GUN), who flees North Korea as a boy with his family. After being discovered in China, a South Korean diplomat under pressure from his government denies asylum to Sin’s family and secretly delivers them to North Korea. As the family tries to escape, Sin’s parents are gunned down, leaving only Sin and his sister, Choi Myeong Ju (LEE MI-YEON), with whom he is shortly separated, to survive on their own. Embittered with the role that the two Koreas played in the death of his parents, Sin hijacks a U.S. cargo ship and steals a nuclear missile guidance system intending to use this arsenal to destroy both North and South Korea. Elite navy lieutenant, Kang Se-Jong (LEE JUNG-JAE), is ordered by the South Korean government to track down Sin and stop his plans. The future of the Korean Peninsula hangs in the balance. Separated from her brother, Sin’s sister has fallen into a life of prostitution and drugs. She mysteriously ends up in the middle of the conflict between Sin and Kang Se-Jong. Since the end of the Korean War in 1953, North Korea has become one of the world’s most tightly controlled societies, completely shut off from the outside world. The military border that exists between North and South Korea is much more than physical. It continues to be an emotional one that separates families, cultures and understanding for the past 50 years. “Typhoon” is more than another adventure film. It has become an emotional touchstone in South Korea because the empathetic story of separation is one that many can claim as their own.
June 2, 2006