I picked up this film solely because it was an inexpensive film made during the early golden years of Corean cinema. The story is simply about the struggles a coachman and his family deal with in the modernizing city of Seoul.
Surprisingly, even though it's not necessarily a happy film, it's still quite full of hope. The other thing is that, despite the ultimate upbeat nature of the film, it's decidedly Corean. We have a Corean family, a widower coachman who works day in and day out as a coachman to support his children. He's got issues, in terms of parenting and that comes to light through the film, but it's clear that he desires more for his children. There's the prototypical dutiful eldest son who is the father's bright hope for the family. There's the typical troubled younger daughter, whose selfish desires for status and material gain cause her to get in trouble. Interestingly enough, there's a mute older daughter who is trapped in a loveless marriage--but because of Corean societal rules, cannot return to her home anymore; although that doesn't keep her from trying. And then there's a love interest for our coachman, a widow and maid to the horse's owner.
So the story isn't too bad overall, except that the ending is too neat and clean and resolves everything without the main characters really being involved in the resolution. The other films I've watched from this era avoid this need for simple resolutions, especially with a story and situations as complex as the ones presented in this film. I see that as a weakness, although it doesn't make this film any less valuable as a story about a troubled family trying to make it in postwar Seoul.
The resolution of the film is too easy, but it's otherwise a decent film and a nice document of the times. 7/10.
A man tries to raise his two sons and two daughters under some of the most adverse conditions known to man. The father operates a horse-drawn cart, but in a city that is modernizing after the destruction of the Korean War, automobiles are making carts obsolete. The children are experiencing difficulties as well. The eldest son has flunked the bar exam twice and is not hopeful of passing it a third time to become a lawyer. The eldest daughter is mute and married to an abusive husband. The younger daughter tries to pose as a rich university student to move up in life. The youngest son has a penchant for petty theft. —Anonymous
Uploaded By: FREEMAN