Notable Cast: Ha Jeong-woo, Bae Doo-na, Oh Dal-soo
Lee Jung-soo (Ha Jeong-woo) is a salesman for Kia Motors, making his rounds and traveling about one day. He's got a cake for his daughter, topping the car off with fuel, and heading home. On his way, he calls his wife to let her know how things have been, when suddenly a tunnel he is passing through (newly opened and everything) decides to cave in and trap him inside his car with nowhere to go. With that set up out of the way, let's dive in to one of my favorite films of the year so far, Tunnel.
Given director Kim's previous film, A Hard Day, I went into this new film with high anticipation. Add to that the fact that the trio of leads in the film are some of my favorite performers in the region, and you have a recipe for a delicious slice of Korean film goodness, and it most certainly is just that.
The melodrama is thick throughout, but it never feels over-the-top. I don't think I've felt feels like this from a film in quite a while. It hits hard and all of the characters, including some of the smaller ones from the rescue team working to get Lee out of his awful situation, are well fleshed out and seemingly all understandable in their thoughts and actions, no matter which side of the fence they are on while continuing the rescue or not. You get where they are all coming from and makes the tiniest moments even more impactful.
The other characters, such as the wife (Bae Doo-na), while not having much to do through the film, as she can't since there is not much she can do for the situation, serves as the backbone to everything and her calmness is very soothing given the intensity of it all. Lastly, Oh Dal-soo is as solid as ever as the lead man of the rescue operation. Again, all of the characters and even the plot is very straightforward, but everything works perfectly.
Written by Josh Parmer