Memories of the sword

Memories of the sword

DVD - 2016 | Korean
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Set in the Goryo Dynasty, a young girl sets out to revenge the death of her mother against the most powerful and ruthless warrior in medieval Korea.
Publisher: Plano, TX :, Well Go USA Entertainment,, [2016]
Branch Call Number: FIC Memor
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (120 minutes) : sound, colour ; 12 cm
video file,DVD video,rda
Audience: Ontario Film Review Board rating - 14A


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Feb 03, 2018

This is one of the best Korean period dramas I've seen. Not surprisingly, what kicks off the action is political corruption (if you don't see that in a Korean historical film, something's wrong), and now the action is during the Koryo kingdom. Twenty years earlier, three swordsmen (Poon-cheong, Deok-gi and Seol-rang) led an uprising against the corrupt government. Poon-cheong was married with an infant daughter, Hong-ee, and Deok-gi and Seol-rang fell in love. On the verge of victory, Deok-gi turns. When Poon-cheong won't surrender, Deok-gi kills him, his wife and their infant daughter. Seol-rang flees, but not before she swears that Hong-ee will avenge her parents' deaths and Deok-gi's treachery.

When we meet Hong-ee, her name has been changed to Seol-hee and she's being raised by Seol-rang, who now calls herself Wallso. When Seol-hee meets Deok-gi (now a powerful official who goes by the name Yoo-baek) in a contest before Wallso thinks she's ready, she reveals the truth about her parents' enemies and forces her to leave because she's destined to avenge her parents' deaths.

The question of how Hong-ee survived the attack as an infant is answered before the end of the film, though some may guess the answer before that. Even given that, watching the transformation the innocent and noble Deok-gi undergoes as he becomes the ruthless Yoo-baek is worth the time invested in the film (Lee Byung-hun is a rising international star for a reason). Ironically, it's his love for Seol-rang that opens him up to desire or, as he puts it, allows him to "want something".

Points to the writers for including Wallso's Arab servant. Koryo saw a lot of interaction with Arab traders, but that's left out of most historical films.

While this isn't gory by Korean standards, there are several disturbing scenes. If you can't watch violence against children, you might want to steer clear

Apr 11, 2017

Not a bad movie. I did like the setting quite a bit. I'm not sure Lee Byunghun excelled here. What I found most impressive though is that the minor Arab character was portrayed by an Arab and spoke correct classical Arabic. Better than your typical Hollywood movie where the Arab is played by an Indian and speaks gibberish.

Mar 01, 2017

The story is mixed fellowship, love, ambition and revenge that attract viewers' attention to the end of film.

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