[Letter to the editor]‘D-War’ rocks; just enjoy it.
Despite harangues from Korean spectators and cinematographers alike, it’s only fair to say that “D-War” has every right to be a success in the United States. After all, the movie does boast a simply amazing A-list cast of American actors who were obviously attracted by something powerful enough to agree to work with director Shim Hyung-rae. How many Korean movie directors can say that? The long anticipated opening day for D-War in America is Sept. 15 and here are some of the reasons it could succeed:
First of all, there’s the sheer novelty of having the scariest looking serpent and mini-dinosaurs spill out onto the big screen with incredible spontaneity.
D-War is therefore a totally major work, a first for Korea and definitely a work that has inspired many of us who have never lived abroad. Its special effects justify the fact that it’s the most expensive movie ever made in Korea by a Korean, even though some of the scenes in D-War require an appreciation for Shim’s prior background in comedy. Several campy moments actually keep us in the creative loop, so to speak. And even those of us with absolutely no sense of humor are given the chance to make the same loop, thanks to some of the zany characters, like the zookeeper who nearly gets clobbered to death by an elephant carcass. But why should it matter where Shim spent $33 million? It should come as no surprise that it has always been his dream to become a filmmaker and he was willing to pay the price.
Secondly, audiences in English-speaking countries will not have to be told in advance that it’s a foreign film with some subtitles, which should help it succeed where others before it have failed, most notably “The Host,” another Korean monster movie that failed theatrically in areas such as the U.K. due to language barriers
In closing, D-War, like all films, is a universal medium; computer special effects give it enough leverage over more traditional methods, like “Godzilla.” So perhaps the main reason some members of the entertainment industry seem to have problems following D-War’s message is due to their limited thinking about monster movies in general. Maybe they ought to try to remake the whole movie more intelligently, using different camera angles or drawings, with different scaling, instead of having the director look so derelict in his duties.
Surely he must have something to boast about after six years of being so committed and passionate about this movie. So please note: How you rate D-War shouldn’t be based on whether you agree with such things as the size of its marketing budget or its chances of succeeding as a Korean export.
So even if you don’t need good advice, go see D-War.
Just remember to get a good seat, sit down and shut up!
Irene Nakano, Jongno, Seoul