"Train to Busan: Late Late Movie Review"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.MD
By now a lot of people have already watched one of the most talked about films of 2016 , Train to Busan which literally has a plot that goes from Point A to Point B.From Seoul to Busan. With a couple of stops of course.
Of course if you are familiar with Korean movies or even Kdramas you would know that they won't make this movie just about zombies or make these guys regular zombies. As you keep on watching you would soon realize that there is more to this movie than just surviving the fast zombies who are out to devour you.
1) Pulling at your heart strings and then ripping that sucker out.
At the heart of this zombie movie are the human characters. By the end you would find yourself rooting for them , wanting them to die or sad that are no longer alive.
The writer does a great job about making you care about the characters because of their relationships with each other.
The 2 Older sisters. The Father and Daughter. The Soon to be Father and his pregnant wife. The would be lovers. The despicable rich guy. The kind and dutiful train conductor.
These people are real and are put in a situation where their individual will to live is put to the test. There are spoilers in the next paragraph or so , so if you are one of those people who just woke up from a 1 year coma and has not watched this movie yet. You have been warned.
Let me look at the relationships of the characters one by one.
The older sisters did not seem to have any obvious part but to serve as zombie bait or fodder because of their physical frailty but then you see the contrast in personalities come to the fore when the kind sister voluntarily stops the zombie mass to let some of the survivors buy enough time to go through a train door.
And the surviving sister then opens the same door on the other survivors as an act of revenge and also serves as a symbolism for her waning resolve to live.
The same waning of resolve can be scene about the would be lovers as the male baseball player just holds on tearfully and apologizing to his dying would have been girlfriend. The result is that the girl zombifies and takes a big chunk of him.One would ask why not run before she turns and then again the answer is loss of resolve to live against such horrors. Despite surviving longer it seemed that Death seemed like the most peaceful choice
A lot of foreshadowing in the writers part made me wish I did not understand especially when one of the characters said "After all it's all about the sacrifice in then end."
The two male protagonists of this story will in the end make sacrifices that would ensure their loved one's survival. Actually with the exception of the rich , despicable guy all the characters know how to make sacrifices so that others could live.
You could hear audiences scream when the would be Father gets bitten in the hand and uses his all of his remaining time being human to keep the zombie mass from advancing. Here was this guy already turning into one of them and yet he continues to resist for his wife and unborn child which he had name moments before this heroic scene. Heck if you are going to die then you can do this for your child right?
For the main lead. All I can say is that his transformation from "cold , always busy dad" into "I am here and I will show you that I love you kind of Dad" could not have come at a much worse time. And he was the hero till the end. The sacrifice to make sure that his daughter lives.
The particular scene where he was saying goodbye yet again and for the last time would move you to tears even if you had no children of your own. Unless you were intensely making out the whole time or were trying to catch your 12th Ratata in the theater.
The scene where he transforms is a weird one since almost everyone who turns into a zombie seem to have their worst fears or disgusting truths come out of them. His own mother had really choice words for his estranged wife. The despicable rich guy seemed to turn into a child who just wants to see his mother in Busan one more time.
For the male lead though this last memory was that of touching his new born daughter. Probably the only time he smiled in this whole film. His transformation not only symbolized into being a zombie but reconnecting with those feelings of love with his own child. It provided a stark contrast because as he was feeling this euphoria his own daughter was screaming in agony because of his loss and on a train that no one can no longer operate.
In the end only a child and pregnant woman who in my opinion has done way too much running than I would allow a pregnant woman. I can picture the baby inside of her clinging on to their life with every hurried step she took.So imagine surviving that horrendous train ride and you are reaching a tunnel where you are in the sights of the Korean Army's best snipers.Sucks right?
During this scene where they cannot be properly identified as uninfected a shoot to kill order is given and do you know what saves them? A song. A song that was meant to be sang for the dad who jumped to his death a mere few minutes ago. This also leads me to the conclusion that we should learn at least one Kpop song. That song might save your life in a zombie apocalypse. Learn your song well though because if you sing it badly enough , zombie or no zombie the snipers might shoot you anyway.
My friend was right in saying that this movie bodes well for the human race. Like i said we should all learn to kpop songs and learn what palli palli means. Oh and for goodness sakes learn to be a good dad every day and take a plane to Busan or maybe a boat next time.