In this true story set in 1980, a down-on-his-luck taxi driver from Seoul is hired by a foreign journalist who wants to go to the town of Gwangju for the day. They arrive to find a city under siege by the military government, with the citizens, led by a determined group of college students, rising up to demand freedom. What began as an easy fare becomes a life-or-death struggle in the midst of the Gwangju Uprising, a critical event in modern South Korea.
Directed By: Hun Jang
Written By: Yu-na Eom
Starring: Kang-ho Song (Man-seob/Kim), Thomas Kretschmann (Peter), Hae-jin Yoo (Tae-sul/Hwang), Jun-yeol Ryu (Jae-sik/Gu), Hyuk-kwon Park (Reporter Choi), Gwi-hwa Choi, and more.
Genre: Action, Drama, & History
Rating: Not Rated
Runtime: 138 minutes
Korean: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1
No Special Features
I give A Taxi Driver Blu-ray a B+.
I really enjoyed this film and knew nothing about it before watching it. I had no idea that it was based on a true story about the Gwangju Uprising that occurred May 18th thru the 27th 1980 in South Korea. An estimated 606 people died during this time when citizens of Gwangju armed themselves against the Chun Doo-hwan government.
The film opens up with Taxi Driver Mr. Kim (played by Kang-ho Song). He’s a widower trying to make a living so he can take care of himself and his (I believe) 11-year-old Daughter. When an offer he can’t refuse lands in his hands he ends up with more than he had ever imagined. The offer: Take a German reporter, Peter (played by Thomas Kretschmann) from Seoul to Gwangju and back. Unfortunately for Mr. Kim, he had no idea what was happening in the city or how dangerous it was.
The one thing I really liked about the film was Mr. Kim, the taxi driver. He was unaware of the situation he was getting himself into but in the end, he couldn’t let innocent people die and ended up helping the reporter get his footage back to Germany to show the world what was actually happening in Gwangju, South Korea. The ending of this film was somewhat bittersweet as the one thing that Peter (German Reporter) wanted was to see his friend (Mr. Kim) once again. Which never happened as he passed away in 2016.
This is a Korean language film with English subtitles that are easy to follow. Don’t let that stop you from watching this incredible film.
During this journey, friendships are made, respect is earned, lives are lost, and an experience none of them will ever forget.
Catch A Taxi Driver out on Blu-ray Tuesday, April 17th!