Friend (2001)

Korean title: 친구 (Chin-gu)

What’s popping:

Stay with the flick long enough and you’ll be rewarded with a poignant story about the friendship between four childhood friends.

The story, which spans 20 years, follows the boys from their days exploring porn together to grown men downing soju.

The friends have always had each other’s backs, but a time comes when a twist of fate causes a deep riff in the bond of friendship.

These friends come from vastly different backgrounds and because of this, their lives take on different paths as they grow up.

Two of the boys – Joon-suk (Yoo Oh-seong) and Dong-su (Jang Dong-gun) – become gangsters. The other two – Sang-taek (Seo Tae-hwa) and Joong-ho (Jung Woon-taek) – live more normal lives: one continues with his studies while the other settles down.

Nonetheless, the friends still keep in touch and support one another. Take for instance the time when Joon-suk is enslaved by his drug addiction. The mild-mannered Sang-taek visits him and even promises to help him out if needed.

Warmth: ‘Let’s hug it out!’

Seasons pass and Joon-suk becomes the head honcho of his father’s gang. And as things turn out, his close friend Dong-su works for a rival gang. They give each other breathing space, but it is only time before the pair butt heads.

Narrated and seen through the eyes of the studious Sang-taek, the flick explores the meaning of friendship. What is the breaking point of a friendship? Do we remain friends with thugs, drug addicts and murderers? Do we remain friends even if our very lives are threatened?

Quarrel: ‘Sucker punch me again and I swear
I’ll steal your girlfriend.’

As the movie unfolds, the strain on Joon-suk and Dong-su’s friendship becomes evident. And just like Sang-taek, the viewer can only watch from afar as the gap between the two men widens.

Jang Dong-gun who is known for his performance here embodies the tortured Dong-su. He’s an undertaker’s filial son who tries to eke out a path of his own in life, but little does he know, the road he takes lead him to dire consequences.

The plot:

Best buds: From left to right – Dong-su (Jang), Joon-suk (Yoo),
Joong-ho (Jung) and Sang-taek (Seo)

The friendship between four childhood friends is tested by time and circumstance in this poignant story.

Watch it:

Get the DVD?

Orchid and I watched the movie at Korea Plaza. No one except us attended the screening, which was in conjunction with the Chungmuro International Film Festival. We had the mini-theatre all to ourselves. Mwah ha ha ha ha :-).

Pics source: HanCinema

Friend made into a drama:
Hyun Bin’s next drama : Friend, Our Legend
Friend, Our Legend premieres June 27



  1. Liz September 3, 2009
  2. Clammy7 September 3, 2009
  3. [email protected] ^guRL September 2, 2009
  4. AA-CHAN September 2, 2009

Add Comment