The Unforgiven (2005)
Director: Yoon Jong Bin
Casts: Ha Jung Woo, Seo Jang Won, and Yoon Jong Bin
Running Time: 121 minutes
Tae Jung and Seung Young, who used to be junior high classmates, meet each other at the same army base for military duty. Tae Jung is the sergeant, who is almost done with his army service, while Seung Young is a private, who is having a hard time getting used to the army life. Seung Young has to learn about discipline while he is in the army. Even though Tae Jung is there to support Seung Young, Seung Young is still uncomfortable and isolated with his fellow army mates. Tae Jung, sometimes, felt frustrated whenever he tries his best to comfort Seung Young. After Tae Jung left the army, Seung Young starts to change. Later on, when Seung Young is on break, he decides to call Tae Jung to meet up. Yet, Tae Jung feels awkward when he is with Seung Young.
The Unforgiven significantly show how men have to go through the hard times in the army. There are clear differences on ranks. The juniors have to respect the seniors even though they can take advantage and believe that they are always right. Although they are trained to be mentally and physically strong, the privates, like Seung Young and Ji Hon, are constantly being treated badly by the sergeants. In order to be in a place of comfort, Tae Sung, Seung Young, and Ji Hon share their frustrations and motivate each other be strong in the army life. There is a sense of brotherhood and friendship where they cheer themselves up from time to time. Despite Tae Sung scolding and hitting Seung Young and Ji Hon in front of the other privates, he considered as his friends whom he cared about. Once Tae Sung is discharged, things start to get hectic such as being bullied by army mates. So, it mentally affect both Seung Young and Ji Hon’s mind on whether they could survive in the army or not. Although they constantly said to themselves that everything is all right, they are still struggling to survive to the very end.
However, the most frustrating scenario in this film is during Seung Young’s leave, he tries to tell something to Tae Sung but ends up beating around the bush. Tae Sung has allocate his time to accompany with Seung Young and gives him the chance to say but he stills hold on and circling his words around. Like Tae Sung, I was really annoyed and sighed that I keep saying “just get to the point already”. Seung Young is mentally disturbed but he has to say straight from his mouth and throws his emotions to Tae Sung so that he can comfort him. If he could have tell him straight, then (sorry for the spoiler), he wouldn’t have end up dead in the first place. There were some flashbacks of their military days that the audiences know what is going on. Still, Seung Young has to get to the point before, like Tae Sung, would just get so annoyed but leave him alone.
Ha Jung Woo’s acting skills in The Unforgiven are simple and aggressive when portraying Tae Sung’s characters. It was a great start for him to develop his capabilities even though there were lack of emotions in certain scenes. There were lack of camera focus and lighting on the characters’ emotions and frustrations such as the army toilet scenes. The only frustration is that the key point doesn’t get to the receiver because Seung Young is reluctant to let it out of his mouth. The portions of army life are interesting but lack of quality while the meeting between Tae Sung and Seung Young at the city is nerve-wrecking. The whole film needs to man up a bit in getting straight to the point.