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Cast: Ha Jung-Woo, Bae Doo-Na, Oh Dal-Su, Kim Jong-Soo
35 DAYS, A MANíS DESPERATE STRUGGLE TO SURVIVE
Jung-soo, an ordinary car dealer, is on his way home with a birthday cake for his daughter. As he drives into a tunnel, an unbelievable thing happens; the tunnel collapses on him. Minutes later, he realizes that he is completely caught in between the debris. Outside, this breaking news creates media frenzy and a thoughtless reporter even airs a live phone interview with Jung-soo, using up his mobile phone batteries. An emergency response team is immediately organized to rescue him and as it becomes a national concern, the government promises full support for the rescue.
While Jung-soo struggles to survive, a series of ridiculous blunders delays the rescue operation and threatens his chances to make it out alive. Soon, he runs out of food, water, and phone batteries, making him totally incommunicado. Days pass without any progress and people start to lose hope or interest in rescuing him. Having already passed the longest survival record for a disaster, hard decisions are forced on his family while no one knows whether Jung-soo is dead or alive.
"Tunnel" tells the story of Lee Jung-soo, a car salesman in Korea. This particular day seems like any other as he is finishing up work and heading home. He has already picked up the cake for his daughter's birthday party and just needs to stop and get some gas. He is waited on by an older gentleman who seems a bit confused. When he is done Jung-soo finds out that the man filled the gas tank instead of only giving him $30 worth. After agreeing to pay the new total he is given a few bottles of water. He doesn't know it yet but those two bottles will be a big part of his life supply soon. As he begins his journey home he travels through a local tunnel but before he makes it all the way through the tunnel collapses leaving him stuck inside with no way out.
This begins Jung-soo's nightmare as rescue workers try and figure out how they are going to get to him before he runs out of time. "Tunnel" is a disaster/rescue mission film, it has been done before but not quite as good, think 1996's, "Daylight." This is a much more realistic film, it focuses on Jung-soo as he tries to keep himself together as days and weeks pass by. In the meantime the media is having a field day outside. The film sends a lot of messages in regards to the media and people in general. Thanks to cell phones and social media everything seems to be available in real time nowadays and it has become a money game regardless of what is at stake, it this case a human life.
"Tunnel" is a drama but it has a good amount of suspense and it is also engaging and thought-provoking as well. None of the characters in the film are over developed but they don't have to be because the focus is in the present so there is no need for back stories here. This is a heartfelt story that relies on its main characters to carry the story and the actors deliver big time.
Jeong-woo is brilliant as Lee Jung-soo, he really brings all the needed emotions to the character. Bae Doo-na is also amazing as his wife who waits outside for news on her husband's rescue. And last but not least there is Dal-soo who is fantastic as the chief rescue worker who is determined to safe Jung-soo at any cost. The rest of the supporting cast members are all terrific as well.
"Tunnel" doesn't use a lot of special effects but the ones that are used are great. The film focuses more on the human side of the disaster and on the world outside that seems to enjoy when something bad happens, this has become a true but sad fact. Director, KIM SEONG-HUN has delivered another gem of a film and I look forward to what this amazing film maker does next. Korean cinema continues to stand atop the Asian market and "Tunnel" is just another example of their dominance. I had a great time watching this film and I was glued to my seat as I waited to find out Jung-soo's fate. The film might be a drama but it is also a nail-biter and a film that tugs at your heart strings. It brings out all sorts of emotions in the audience, sadness, joy and anger. A powerful piece of cinema that needs to be seen.
"Tunnel" opens in Theaters on August 26, you can find out where you can see it by visiting the film's web site HERE.
Released by Well Go USA
**** Out Of *****