A new movie just hit Korean cinemas last December and it is making waves.
Swing Kids <스욍키즈> is a South Korean musical drama film based on the Korean musical “Rho Ki-soo,” a story of a rebellious North Korean soldier who falls in love with tap dancing. It is set in a prison camp during the Korean War in 1951. Directed by Kang Hyeong-cheol, (the director behind the big films Scandal Makers (2008) and Sunny (2011). This film, which stars Do Kyung-soo (rising actor and member of the K-Pop boy band EXO), Park Hye-su (singer, winner of Kpop star 4 2014), Jared Grimes (Broadway and a professional tap dancer), Oh Jung-se, and Kim Min-ho, has been released and continuously captured the Korean movie scene since December 19, 2018.
“Swing Kids” is expected to be released in 23 countries in Asia including Singapore, Malaysia, Macao, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Indonesia; as well as in USA, New Zealand, Australia and Canada. With various praises from movie critics and movie enthusiasts alike, it is expected to hit a box office record as well.
Unfortunately, there is no news that the movie will be screened in the Philippines yet. It should be, right? That is why we are listing five important reasons why “Swing Kids” should also be brought here to the country!
It is the first ever Korean movie to use a Beatles song.
“Swing Kids” is the very first in Korean film history to get the green light to use a Beatles song! The movie used the track “Free as a Bird,” a Beatles song originally composed and recorded in 1977 but was released in 1995. This was a record given that it is not only nearly impossible to get its copyright but to also obtain the original music so it can be used in a movie! Aside from The Beatles, the movie also featured classics like David Bowie’s “Modern Love,” Benny Goodman’s “Sing Sing Sing,” and Korean veteran singer Jung Su-ra’s “Joy.”
It has been one of the most heavily anticipated Korean movies of 2018.
Even before opening, “Swing Kids” has been one of the most anticipated releases of 2018. It is the latest movie of critically acclaimed Korean director Kang Hyung Chul, the same director of hit films “Scandal Makers” (2008) and “Sunny” (2011). It is not surprising that even if it was released late in the year, it managed to rank third in the best Korean movies of 2018 by both the Modern Korean cinema website and the Korea Times. “Swing Kids” also hit one million admissions just nine days after its release, received a 9.6/10 rating from Naver, an official Korean information source, and an IMDb rating of 8.2. Talk about quality!
It is a musical, a dance movie AND a war movie, all in one!
It may be an odd fusion of genres–a musical, a dance, and a war movie altogether—but it isn’t bad. In fact, that’s one of the many reasons why “Swing Kids” has become a major hit! It is based on the stories of real people of the Korean War. With such a rather gloomy background, the film’s throwback soundtrack and amusing rhythmic tap dance make it a huge crowd-pleaser.
The reviews so far have been amazing!
Those who have seen “Swing Kids” have nothing to say but praises for the movie!
The Los Angeles Times described it as “an engaging, enjoyable story, peppered with impressive dance numbers” while Variety says it can leave “audiences caught between crying and cheering.” Eontalk reviewed also said that “[f]rom the acting to the dancing, and most importantly, the story; it all was very well put together, leaving…with extreme satisfaction once the credits started playing.” In another review, the Yonhap News Agency said that in its 133-minute running time, “Swing Kids” make “the audience twitch with amusement throughout the film” and The Houston Chronicles furthered that “it deserves respect.”
Check out some of the other reactions below:
Last but not the least, it stars EXO’s D.O.
One of the most promising actors of the group, Doh Kyungsoo, more popularly known by his stage name D.O. of the K-Pop boy group EXO, successfully portrayed the image of a fragile yet strong young man perfectly needed for Roh Ki-soo, the main character of the film. Kyungsoo admitted that portraying Roh Ki-soo was a bit difficult because he had to portray emotions through movement and dancing, but he still pulled it off. Kyungsoo had previously starred in other movies like “Cart,” “My Annoying Brother,” and “Room Number 7” just to name a few as well as Korean dramas “100 Days Husband” and “It’s Okay, That’s Love.”
FUN FACT: Did you know that Do Kyungsoo learned tap dancing in just six months when it would normally take two years or more to master it? And even if he was an idol, he courageously shaved his hair so he can act as a soldier!
Watch the movie trailer here:
Want “Swing Kids” in the Philippines?
Swing Kids PH, a team of fans and film enthusiasts, is currently holding a petition to promote and screen “Swing Kids” in the country.
They have collected, so far, over 4,000 signatures and have managed to promote “Swing Kids” related hashtags in the Philippines twice. Help them by signing their petition here: https://www.change.org/p/movie-critics-swing-kids-to-be-shown-in-philippine-cinemas