The Flu Korean Movie Review
Would have been in time for the Halloween that just passed, I’ve recently watched a couple of horror-y movies over a couple of weeks. The other one was Spellbound starring Lee Min Ki and Son Ye Ji. This one I thought would be really scary, gore-y or too graphic type of movie.
The Flu is a movie about a man, illegally smugged into South Korea amongst other people in a shipping container – who all mysteriously died except for one man. Carrying a highly contagious and lethal virus with him, infecting Byoung Woo (Lee Sang Yeob). The virus very quickly spread to other people. Symptoms such as coughing blood, severe rash and boils covering the patients’ bodies.
First on call is Dr Kim Inn Hae (played by Soo Ae). She was one of the first to witness this and so just how severe it was. It was suspected to be a case like bird flu syndrome. And we also meet her very cute and adorable daughter, Kim Mi Reu(played by Park Min Ha). Honestly this kid!!! She IS SOOO GOOD. She plays her roles extremely well and very natural at that. Often times with child actors, ofcourse it’s normal, you can still feel them just acting. I’ve seen her multiple times already and the one I remember seeing her in at the moment is in Defendant.
She was amazing in that and the relationship and chemistry between other actors that she’s managed to create at such a young age is amazing. I didn’t expect this to have the daughter play such a crucial part in the story. And she played it to her best ability.
This was such a surprising movie for me. Although I expected it to be scary, and suspenseful and deliver more dark thriller feels like it did at the start, it mellowed out towards the end so be warned that it really is not a horror/scary movie. The acting here though was really AMAZING. And because I’ve seen all of the main actors in mini dramas before, it mad me even more impressed with their performance in The Flu.
THE FLU – THE PLOT (spoilers ahead)
If you’re expecting to be given answers to where and how the flu came about – this is not going to answer that. But that isn’t the main point. This film puts us straight onto the conflict of the flu spreading everywhere. And as much as that was feigned to be the main conflict, down to its core was something more simple.
With the spread of the flu and the desperate attempts to contain it, comes the methods that happens at the expense of other people. When is it selfish and when is it the right time to think of yourself first? That was one of the central theme that this movie explored. Humanity.
The people in Bundang were all quarantined and we’ve seen the extent of the town completely shutting down. The people inside were all trapped. From lack of information, confusion and chaos arose. Because there were so many people, everyone wanted to be first – first to be saved, first to be screened and first to be protected. This obviously wasn’t possible and we see just how we would react to something like this. Everyone disagreed with each other and they wanted it their own way. Against the strong flu virus, the people in Bundang represented a divided team of people.
This was such a thought provoking part of the film. It made me think, what would you actually do if you’re in a situation like that? To not have a choice but to put your life at other people’s hands.
The President and the Prime Minister
Wow. Such an amazing performance by Cha In Pyo who played our president here. Their scenes were always so tense. In that room – a big decision has to be made that could either save or kill people. He’s got so many memorable quotes here and towards the end of th emovie – that climax was oh so satisfying. By the end I was so annoyed at the Prime Minister.
But then again it highlighted the situation and their decisions at that point right? I’ve never been more annoyed by a foreigner in a korean drama/film. In here though, it was because they were so effective. I almost always find foreign actors in a Kdrama to be out of place and cringe-y. But they were annoying because they played the characters well. How they were able to convince the Prime Minister to shoot at the people coming into Seoul and crossing the border line. And how they were able to take over the President.
He was made to be powerless and unable to do anything. That really annoyed and frustrated the heck out of me. I mean, excuse me? How can you decide to shoot my own people at my own country. Come on now. But with that frustration came the most satisfying come back ever! YUP, you Sir, are not messing with him! Wow that has got to be the most satisfying part of this movie for me.
To be honest I was rewatching that climax part and it didn’t fail to give me goosebumps. Although this fell off the category of suspense and into more of a melodramatic tone – it did veryyyyy well. The dialogues, the standoffs were so on point. It wasn’t about what the president said but it was in the way he said it. SO POWERFUL!
Backstory: When people started trying to leave Bundang, security is tense with trying to stop them.
Mr Snyder (foreign ambassador): Launch secondary strike as planned.
background “Fighters, confirm your position please.”
Prime Minister: “What’s going on?” (Uhmm, you’ve just been used and betrayed!)
President: “Get me capital defense command.”
” The president has absolute authority over capital defense.”
(on the phone to the defense commander) “Ready surface to air missiles. Shoot down fighter jets that enter Bundang airspace.”
Mr Snyder: “This is unacceptable. You have no authority to countermand my order.”
President: “You see that little girl? Those people, they’re my people.”
Mr Snyder: “Sir! I officially demand you withdraw your order!”
President: I officially warn you. I WILL SHOOT THEM DOWN.”
Jets within attack range
President: “Shoot them down.” (unflinching!!)
background. Fighter jets: “Mission aborted. All birds return to the bird farm.”
Tell you what – when he backed off it showed so much how Mr Snyder was actually a bully. And our President showed that if you stood your ground firm enough, they’ll realise that you’re no easy prey.
Ofcourse, it won’t be complete without Jang Hyuk – Kang Ji Koo and Kim In Hae. If I had someone like Kang Ji Koo in those kinds of times, I’m pretty much taken care of. He’s got to be one of those annoyingly nice people. The ones who just had to help whenever. Nothing wrong with helping but there were just times there when you had to think of yourself. That was actually annoying watching that. Like, this probably isn’t the right time to be concern about others when you’re not even completely safe as well, especially with a little kid with you.
Many people are hurt. I have to help them.
I get that his a noble man but to leave the little girl on the side to help others – she definitely was not safe there. DUH.
I loved how he truly sacrificed and compromised himself many a times for In Hae and her daughter. By the end of the film I thought that she definitely has to marry him after all they’ve been through.
With her kid being infected and him finding out – he went above and beyond what others would have done. It’s one of those feel good films – as much as it highlighted the bad side humanity could take on this kind of situation (e.g, Ma Dong Seok’s character completely blinded with saving himself regardless of how others will be), it also showed how kind and unselfish we could be.
And by the end of this movie, when they all finally united and had one goal to reach did they reach out to the people in charge and hear their stand.
AS cliche as it is, United We Stand and Divided We Fall. Nothing can really beat us if we all just stuck together instead of turning against each other.
I loved this film and the immigrant guy really touched my heart too. I loved the short bond he shared with Park Mi Reu and I was truly sad when he died in the end.
The Flu and the Antidote
When they finally caught the guy who survived the flu, the desperation on In Hae’s part blinded her into doing everything to save her daughter dying from the flu. A picture of a mother’s love.
This The Flu Korean Movie was overall a good movie. If you’re expecting to be scared off or be on the edge of your seat from scary things, you’ll probably disappointed in that aspect. However, for me though it really worked. I enjoyed the turn of events and the characters are a mixture of people with great personalities with some annoying sides to them. I didn’t mind though as I was able to overlook that bit and I enjoyed it.
It certainly had a great concept but I feel like what we got in the bag isn’t what you would’ve thought — but I still liked it that way.