Dongju: The Portrait of a Poet (DVD) (Japan Version) DVD Region 2
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YesAsia Editorial Description
Under Japanese colonial rule, the use of Korean language is prohibited. Poet Yoon Dong Ju (Kang Ha Neul) plans to publish poems about his harsh life but his project is banned by the Japanese administration. Seeing his incredible writing talents, a Japanese professor suggests that Dong Ju publish the poems in English. However, before finishing his work, Dong Ju and his cousin Song Mong Kyu (Park Jung Min) are imprisoned for taking part in the Korean independence movement.
|Product Title:||Dongju: The Portrait of a Poet (DVD) (Japan Version) Dongju: The Portrait of a Poet (DVD) (Japan Version) Dongju: The Portrait of a Poet (DVD) (Japan Version) 空と風と星の詩人〜尹東柱（ユン・ドンジュ）の生涯〜 동주|
|Artist Name(s):||Kang Ha Neul (Actor) | Park Jung Min (Actor) | Choi Hee Seo 姜河那 (Actor) | 朴正民 (Actor) | Choi Hee Seo 姜河那 (Actor) | 朴正民 (Actor) | Choi Hee Seo カン・ハヌル (Actor) | パク・ジョンミン (Actor) | チェ・ヒソ 강하늘 (Actor) | 박정민 (Actor) | 최희서|
|Director:||Lee Joon Ik 李浚益 李浚益 イ・ジュンイク 이준익|
|Publisher Product Code:||OED-10496|
|Place of Origin:||South Korea|
|Region Code:||2 - Japan, Europe, South Africa, Greenland and the Middle East (including Egypt) What is it?|
|Shipment Unit:||1 What is it?|
|YesAsia Catalog No.:||1067383766|
カン・ハヌル / パク・チョンミン / キム・インウ / イ・ジュニク (監督) / モグ (音楽)
製作国 : 韓国 (Korea)
公開年 : 2017
Other Versions of "Dongju: The Portrait of a Poet (DVD) (Japan Version)"
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Hong Kong Version
- Dongju: The Portrait Of A Poet (2016) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region 3
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- Dongju: The Portrait of a Poet (2016) (2DVD) (Normal Edition) (Korea Version) DVD Region 3
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- Dongju: The Portrait of a Poet (2DVD) (Korea Version) DVD Region 3
- Out of Print
YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features
Professional Review of "Dongju: The Portrait of a Poet (DVD) (Japan Version)"
This professional review refers to Dongju: The Portrait of a Poet (2DVD) (Korea Version)
Lee Joon-ik continues his fondness for historical dramas with something a little more recent in the biopic Dongju: The Portrait of a Poet, which follows the life of the titular figure during the Japanese colonial period. Markedly less grand and barnstorming than his last outing The Throne, the black and white-lensed film stars Kang Ha-neul (Twenty) in the lead role, with support from Park Jung-min (Tinker Ticker) as his cousin. Although the film didn't make as much of an impression at the local box office as Lee's other offerings, it went down well with the critics, winning Grand Prize at the Baeksang Arts Awards, with Park Jung-min picking up Best New Actor.
Employing a flashback structure, the film explores the life of poet Yoon Dong-ju (Kang Ha-neul), from his childhood in China, through to his imprisonment by the Japanese rulers for his involvement in the Korean independence movement, along with his cousin Song Mong-kyu (Park Jung-min). With Song being the more outwardly nationalistic of the two, Dong-ju's passion flows from his words, which he begins translating into English at the suggestion of a Japanese professor after they are banned by the authorities, as is anything written in Korean at the time.
Dongju: The Portrait of a Poet sees Lee Joon-ik teaming with writer director Shin Yeon-shick, known for his work on the likes of The Russian Novel, Rough Play and others, and the film certainly has more of an indie feel than most of Lee's other works. It's a quiet, thoughtful film, almost to the point of stoicism, dealing with the relationship between politics, both personal and national, and poetry, and the ways in which people use them for different purposes. The film's main strength is the moral grey area in which it unfolds, questioning the role of the Korean people in the country's occupation by Japan, and making it clear that not all Japanese people were in support of the action. At the same time, the independence movement and communism are never depicted as being entirely heroic or the solution to the country's ills, no easy answers being offered.
This does make for interesting, searching viewing, though it should be pointed out that the film does require at least a passing knowledge of and an interest in the subject matter, Lee and Shin making few concessions or falling back on the usual spoon-fed storytelling of commercial Korean cinema. Though undoubtedly worthy and intelligent, the film isn't always the easiest or most gripping to watch, and even with a modest running time of less than two hours does feel a touch dry and overstretched in places, despite a few touches of humour here and there. The portrayal of Dong-ju as a fairly indecipherable and ambiguous protagonist doesn't help much in this regard, and though not the fault of Kang Ha-neul, it's hard to warm to his plight, the outgoing, though no less complicated Mong-kyu making for a far more engaging figure, Park Jung-min being well-deserving of his Best Actor win.
To be fair, this does give the film a grounded and historically accurate feel compared to most other Korean historical dramas, and Lee and Shin arguably deserve points for not pandering to the kind of lowest denominator melodrama that might have been expected. This is matched by the film's gorgeous black and white cinematography which, while visually impressive, is at once subtle and stark, making for an evocative recreation of the time period. The film’s look also serves well to give it a more intimate feel that other recent Lee films such as The Throne, successfully masking what was clearly a lower budget and again giving it a more indie air.
Although perhaps not likely to be one for all tastes, Dongju: The Portrait of a Poet is nevertheless an accomplished and, in its own way, bold historical drama that never whitewashes or dumbs down its subject or themes. It's good to see Lee Joon-ik trying something a little different, and though the film isn’t the easiest or most entertaining of watches, it’s one of the more challenging and even-handed explorations of Korean history and culture of late, for the right audience at least.
by James Mudge - EasternKicks.com