It takes place in the Demilitarised Zone separating North Korea from South Korea. There’s been a shooting on the North Korean side and two Republican soldiers are dead, apparently killed by a South Korean guard who was trying to escape capture. The Neutral Nations Supervisory Committee, spearheaded by the Swiss (and their terrible English), are brought in to investigate before the event bubbles over into all out war. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that what led up to the murders is far more complicated than an escaping prisoner shooting himself to freedom.
Chan-wook Park’s beautifully shot film is both tragic and laugh out loud funny. Yes the main theme, once it becomes evident, isn’t handled in particularly subtle way. But the strong character work, coupled with the standout performances from Kang-ho Song and Byung-hun Lee, make for compelling viewing. The final shot in particular left in a lump in my throat.