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Tag: Friend

What’s Korean Cinema? 3: Friend

Kyung-Taek Kwak’s epic friend- and gangster saga Friend (2001) is the subject for the third episode of What’s Korean Cinema? Listen in to hear Stoo, Ken and special guests Martin Cleary from New Korean Cinema (, Paul Quinn from Hangul Celluloid ( and Rufus L de Rham from VCinema (, cineAWESOME! ( discuss the careeers of the cast & crew and ultimately their (somewhat varied) opinions of the film. It’s a round table discussion worth sitting through at 2 hours in length!

Running times for the show segments:
00m 00s – Intro/background
18m 47s – Cast
41m 50s – Paul Quinn
45m 17s – Friend review
70m 50s – Rufus L de Rham
78m 32s – SPOILER discussion

Show links: Read More

Friend (2001)


The story is of four friends and how they deal with drugs, gangs and maintaining their friendships between them, no matter what lifestyle they live. The film develops in different stages, the film starting in 1970 then leading up to the early 90’s.

Joong-Suk (Yoo Oh-Sung) in the 80’s was known far and wide as the schools boss. Their number one fighter. Joong-Suk’s father is also a superior to the local gangsters. Through the stages in his life we see how he changes. From fighting rival schools, attempting to give up drugs. We even see him getting a word of warning from his past gang…

Dong-Su (Jang Dong-Gun) is the son of an undertaker. He helps his father groom corpses. When in high school he was always hanging around with Joong-Suk since he was the schools 2nd best fighter.

This seems to give his character a bit of an edge. After being released from prison in 90’s Dong-Su is taken in by a rival gang against Joong-Suk. Believing that Loyalty is money…

Joong-Ho (Jeong Un-Taek) seems to be a charming character with some dirty habits (aka the milk lotion story). He’s mother was a business women who went back and forth from Korea to Japan. So she always came back with the latest gadgets, like one of the very first video recorders, even with porn. He was also a big Bruce Lee fan, you even seem him sporting a pair of nunchucks!

Sang-taek (Seo Tae-Hwa) is the innocence of the film. Sang-Taek was sent to a different school from Joong-Suk & Dong-Su. He is well educated and smart. He lost contact with Joong-Suk & Dong-Su, but he seen Joong-Ho frequently. But Sang-Taek seems to be best friends with Joong-Suk as the years progress.

With all the guys in this film, surely there must be some eye candy!

Jin-Sook (Kim Bo-Kyeong) is a cousin of Drocko. She preformed in front of the school in a 7 girl band called ‘Rainbow’. Instantly she attracted the every guy in the crowd with her 80’s hair cut and slim figure. In later years she becomes the wife of Joon-Suk, although he seems to mistreat her, this is through his stage of limbo…

Final thoughts? Beautiful, just perfect. The film has many elements to it. The innocence of The Road Home, the darkness of Infernal Affairs, mixed with Beat Takeshi’s Brother. The film is amazing, everyone should watch this. I done the stupid thing and left it lying around for a couple weeks before watching it. When you get this film, stop your live for 1 hour and 58 minutes and enjoy…