In recent years, Korean films have been gaining momentum, but not many comedies have come out of the circle. The impression of Korean comedy, except for the early films like ‘Sex Is Zero’ ‘Going by the Book’, is probably only ‘Extreme Job’ ‘EXIT’ in 2019. Finally, this year, another Korean comedy that is interesting just by looking at the setting – ‘6/45’
To date, its Korean viewership has reached 1.97 million, and its worldwide box office has exceeded $20 million, which has properly recovered its cost (5 billion won).
South Korea NAVER online, the film audience rating 8.07, expert rating 6.00, in addition, IMDb rating 7.3, word of mouth is not bad.
Korean film critics described “6/45” as a “funny version of “Joint Security Area”. The film is considered to be “a nostalgic product of a disappearing Korean comedy film, but also an interpretation of the new era”. The talent of the actors is regarded as one of the keys to the success of the film.
The talent of the actors is seen as one of the keys to the film’s success.
Kyung-pyo Go is known for his role as ‘Sung Sun-woo’ in ‘Reply 1988’, and his strong plasticity has enabled him to act in popular movies such as ‘D.P Dog Day’, ‘Decision To Leave’, etc. in the past two years. Decision To Leave’ and other popular movies.
In contrast, Yi-Kyeong Lee’s comedic image is more prominent.
His role as Lee Joon-ki in the 2018 sitcom ‘Laughter in Waikiki’ contributed some of the densest and most nonsensical laughs in Korean comedy in recent years.
“6/45” has a very clear story setting. At the border between North Korea and South Korea, Chun-woo (Kyung-pyo Go), the commander of the South Korean post, accidentally picked up a lottery ticket.
This lottery is called 645 and the first prize is won by guessing 6 numbers correctly out of the numbers 1 to 45.
The first prize award of 5.7 billion won, after tax is deducted and converted to U.S. dollars, will net $4 million as stated in the film.
The lottery ticket is blown to the border of North Korea by the wind and picked up by Corporal Yong-ho (Yi-Kyeong Lee) of a North Korean post.
The two soldiers, who should have been incompatible, had to negotiate several times over the ownership of the lottery prize, and subsequently people from both sides kept joining to divide the money ……
So far, the film has built up a tense comedy space with the popular North-South theme of Korean cinema.
There is a big story to be written about how the inter-Korean soldiers went to a Korean bank to receive their bonuses and then distributed them according to the negotiated ratio, while properly handling the conflicts and suspicions between the two sides.
“6/45” is not “crazy off the line” like American comedies such as “The Hangover” “The Dicktator” when designing the storyline, but as mentioned earlier, in a symmetrical and neat format, complete Nostalgia for early Korean comedies.
The story features three main characters each from South Korea and North Korea, and both sides have higher-ups involved. Thus, a total of six people join this lotto battle (and perhaps intentionally corresponding to the six winning numbers).
Such a character structure pays homage to the symmetrical and dangerous border power relations between the two Koreas in ‘Joint Security Area’, but with its unique stability, the film’s plot is kept within an ideal comedic context.
For example, to ensure the smooth implementation of the agreement, the two sides decided to exchange a soldier as a hostage.
It’s a cheesy but powerful design. The number of people remains the same, and the change in nationality status is bound to have a shocking effect on both posts, and the high-level attention this shock triggers will in turn have a strong impact on the plans of both sides, thus giving the film a more dangerously comic flavor.
(slight spoilers below)
Laughing point intensive
Like 2007’s “Going by the Book”, the joke in “6/45” has two characteristics. One is “doing funny things in a serious way”, and the other is “designing jokes in the basic understanding of the region”.
These two points take the film out of the realm of mere nonsensical comedy and thus into the realm of dark humor (though, of course, ‘Going by the Book’ is cooler and more darkly humorous).
For example, after the lottery ticket was blown to North Korea, Chun-woo did not dare to climb directly over the barbed wire fence, so he had to dig dog holes under the net at night and crawl through them to North Korea in search of the lottery ticket.
Crucially, he did enough theoretical preparation – based on the specific values of temperature, wind direction, wind speed, lottery weight, free fall formula, and lottery flight distance – to try to presume the exact location of the lottery landing.
His basis is the famous “Riemann Hypothesis”.
Riemann Hypothesis is one of the world’s seven mathematical puzzles, so when he lights up the draft paper in the night, the steep difference between that serious attitude and the childish conclusion can naturally form a strong laughing point.
In addition, the inter-Korean team signed a contract to draw up if disputes arise, to be ruled by the United Nations International Court of Justice . Chun-woo, whose family runs a cattle farm, used the aphrodisiac atmosphere to make the chickens and ducks at the North Korean post lay hundreds of eggs overnight …… These are a bit of a serious funny taste.
Some of the film’s other laughs require the audience to have a basic knowledge of the current situation in Korea.
For example, the two sides met privately at the “common water supply area” and analyzed the lottery prizes and tax rates. On the Korean side, Private Man-chul threw out a large piece of paper on which he listed all the data.
Han sang, only to see the North Korean side took out a cloth package, wrapped a square object, Han suspected bento, the package ripped open, it turned out to be a projector.
The contrast between the paper and the projector is clearly a sarcasm of the North Korean side, which is supposed to be technologically backward, but has to make a full pie on such trivial matters.
“6/45” is a South Korean film, and naturally it may convey a stereotype of North Korea in these aspects, but if you put aside this so-called “private goods”, you can still experience the unique humor in the context of North and South.
There are a lot of laughs in the film based on this. For example, after Yong-ho is replaced in the Korean post, he eats a lot in the cafeteria and turns into a big appetite king.
Using saliva instead of shoe polish to polish the shoes of Korean veterans, and the polish is brighter than using shoe polish (because in North Korea generally can not afford to use shoe polish) ……
These, with a little bit of heartache, but also a little bit of Korean filmmakers “deliberate”, but in terms of the sense of comedy contrast, the bridge is very effective.
At the same time, the film also observes the characteristics of the era of big data. Man-chul, who was given the task of redeeming the prize money, arrived in Seoul and kept his hand in his underwear because the lottery ticket was hidden in his underwear. This act was filmed and uploaded, and in less than a day, his reputation as a “perverted soldier” spread across the Internet.
Become famous quickly, and don’t pay attention to the truth, the comedy and terrifying symptoms of the current era are vividly displayed by “6/45”.
Today, the North-South genre has become one of the most important Korean film genres, and ‘Joint Security Area’, released in 2000, opened the curtain on the North-South genre in the 21st century.
Subsequently, commercial films such as ‘Battle of the Highlands’, ‘Fearless Whispers’ and ‘Assassination’ unfolded the North-South narrative from different dimensions.
In recent years, the North-South theme has formed a well, ‘Confidential Assignment’, ‘Steel Rain’, ‘The Spy Gone North’, ‘Mogadishu’, ‘Hunt’ and many other masterpieces, together constructing the indispensable map of Korean genre films.
‘Confidential Assignment 2: International’ was recently launched on streaming media North and South topics, almost always converge to the same focus, that is, beyond country and region, reducing people to people themselves.’ Same goes for ‘6/45’.
The director expresses too much “ridicule” of North Korea in the film, such as North Korean soldiers have never seen a water fountain, do not know animal husbandry technology, do not know the weather forecast, and are overtrained. But in the end, the film puts the emotions of the soldiers on both sides on an equal footing.
Not only do they both harbor the feeling of fighting for the prize money for their families, but they also build a short friendship during the process of cashing in the prize together. Meanwhile, a regrettable romance was created between Chun-woo of South Korea and Lee Yeon-hee, a North Korean broadcaster.
It is evident that the film holds the view that they are human beings first, and then Koreans and North Koreans.
In the process, “6/45” presents the influence of Korean pop culture on the ideology of both parties.
In the film, the sweet heroine Li Yanxi is called “North Korean IU” and both of them danced to the Korean girl group Brave Girls “Rollin'” at the meeting point.
This is actually one of the usual techniques of the North-South theme, and the most classic one is ‘The Spy Gone North’ directed by Jong-bin Yoon.
‘The Spy Gone North’ ends with a commercial featuring South Korean diva Lee Hyo Ri and North Korean dance superstar Zhao Mingai, who meet to signify the peace talks behind North and South Korea at the time.
This replica of the historical plot is a testament to the role of pop culture in driving the story of the North and the South, and Lee Hyo Ri’s starring role makes ‘The Spy Gone North’ an example of Korean cinema in this regard.
Although “6/45” does not reach the height of “The Spy Gone North”, it is also within the framework of comedy and completes a relatively complete north-south narrative.
Of course, the film still has some flaws. For example, after the lottery ticket flies to North Korea, it seems to have a consciousness and keeps following Yong-ho around until it is picked up by Yong-ho, who is full of doubts.
This plot design is so purposeful that although it can be deconstructed because the film is a comedy, it still seems raw and coincidental.
Another example is that the film does not explain the specific way to cash the prize, making people wonder where the $4 million came from.
Here’s an explanation by the way: the lottery was probably taken by loan sharks for money laundering purposes, meaning that the soldiers got the cash and the loan sharks used the lottery to legitimize the illegal income.
As for the ending of the film, the director may be trying to counter the formula, so in the end only let everyone get a very small amount of money.
But for the audience who has been worried about the bonus will be wasted, let everyone get the full amount of the bonus after the intention to leave, will not be the real anti-set?
After all, life has been very bitter, comedy well, it should come to a perfect ending.