2023 Korean movie ‘Road to Boston’ Review & Explained

沒有冠軍的國家影評road to boston

“Road to Boston” is a Korean biographical film set to be released in 2023. Directed by Kang Je-Gyu, it stars Ha Jung-Woo as Son Kee-Jung, Im Si-Wan as Suh Yun-Bok, Bae Sung-Woo as Nam Seung-Ryong, and Kim Sang-ho as Baek Nam-hyeon. The film tells the story of marathon runners in post-liberation Korea who aspire to participate in their first international marathon competition.

Road to Boston Korean Movie – Trailer

Korean Movie Road to Boston – Plot & Cast

According to IMDb, “Road to Boston” has a rating of 8.1/10 (please note that this rating may change). When watching this film, I believe audiences can carefully observe the individual storylines of these four characters.

Each character has their own unique perspective: Son Kee-Jung’s transformation from reluctantly surrendering his championship title to another country into a determination to compete for his own nation through sports; Suh Yun-Bok’s transition from running solely for prize money to overcoming childhood trauma and becoming a national hero; Seung-Ryong’s silent patriotism symbolizing the unity inherent in the South Korean people; and Nam-hyeon’s experience living in America and being moved by these patriotic athletes’ “latent love for their country,” even more so than their coach.

These four storylines have distinct focal points and development but also intertwine with each other, inspiring and moving viewers.

This is one reason why “Road to Boston” is such an engaging film – because intense patriotism can be portrayed on screen. Sometimes we are not incapable but lack the courage to act. However, when one person or a few individuals take the lead, that group will find greater courage together.  “Road to Boston” touches audiences with its sincere patriotic sentiment while motivating them at the same time.

2023 Road to Boston Movie Review

2023 Korean movie 'Road to Boston' Review & Explained

‘Road to Boston’ explained:Son Kee-Jung went from being forced to give up marathon running to becoming an inspiring athlete.

In “Road to Boston,” the most important character is Son Kee-Jung. However, the story does not begin with Son Kee-Jung’s journey into marathon running, but rather with the heartbreaking moment when he is forced to give up running marathons.

At the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Son Kee-Jung broke the marathon record and won a gold medal. However, as the Japanese national anthem played in the background, there was no joy or happiness visible on Son Kee-Jung’s face as he covered the Japanese flag on his sports uniform with flowers in his hand.

This scene represents many profound implications – what should have been a joyful moment turned out to be one of the most bitter moments in his life. For South Koreans, Son Kee-Jung is a national hero. “Road to Boston” delicately portrays how Son Kee-Jung earned this well-deserved title.

One of the important storylines in “Road to Boston” revolves around Son Kee-Jung and Suh Yun-Bok. Their interactions are filled with sparks and realism.

In the plot, Son Kee-Jung almost numbs himself by indulging in a self-destructive lifestyle after despairing over his shattered marathon career – something that has always haunted him deeply.

In “Road to Boston,” their intertwined stories present many compelling elements: for example, Suh Yun-Bok runs for prize money because his poor family cannot afford medical expenses for his mother; at first, patriotism means nothing to him. As Seung-Ryong also mentioned at one point: when everyone struggles just to have enough food on their plates, who has time or energy left for patriotism or fighting for their country? It’s a harsh reality faced by people at that time.

“The director of ‘Road to Boston’ successfully portrays the emotional journey of Suh Yun-Bok, who comes from an unfortunate background – a poor family, a sick mother, and a kind-hearted son struggling to support his family.

This deeply resonates with the audience because Suh Yun-Bok is a child who has lost everything and has nothing. Every time I see Suh Yun-Bok, it feels like all of South Korea at that time could only helplessly watch as they lose everything just like him.

Therefore, when I see Son Kee-Jung desperately trying to seek financial assistance from the United States for Korean marathon runners to participate in the Boston Marathon, it is heartbreaking that the translation cannot convey that America is unwilling to help.

It’s a tear-jerking scene because South Korea is a country where there are no people willing to lend a hand, just like Suh Yun-Bok. Only by uniting together can Koreans help their own people. So when the public starts donating their money and possessions in solidarity, this scene symbolizes that although South Koreans may have nothing else, they will not abandon their own people.

I believe that particular moment truly changes Suh Yun-Bok. He finally understands why Son Kee-Jung always asks if he runs solely for money. It becomes a turning point for him towards intense patriotism and determination.

With his mother’s dying wish for him to do what he wants (which is creating miracles), along with the support and encouragement from the crowd cheering him on, it indeed proves that Son Kee-Jung loves this genuine nature and unity of South Koreans.

This film deeply ignites national consciousness among all South Koreans – arousing their passion and pride in being Korean.”

I feel that this scene perfectly echoes the moment when Suh Yun-Bok was tripped by a dog during the Boston competition (which actually happened in a real race and affected Suh Yun-Bok’s performance).

Koreans always find a way to overcome any obstacles, just like Son Kee-Jung preparing to help Suh Yun-Bok participate in the race despite not having enough deposit or an American guarantor. He always says he will find a solution.

The appearance of the dog during the race made Suh Yun-Bok stand up again and adjust his pace, demonstrating the strong will and never-give-up attitude of Koreans, seizing every small opportunity.

When I watched “Road to Boston,” it constantly reminded me of the 1988 Taiwanese film “The Little Giant.” In both films, despite lacking resources and funds, they never give up on their goals. Just as Son Kee-Jung said, there is always another way to solve problems. Only by giving up truly means having nothing at all.

‘Road to Boston’ explained:Suh Yun-Bok ran through the pain and darkness, and emerged with glory and achievement.

“Road to Boston” almost faithfully portrays the original characters, and I really like how it focuses on the chemistry between the Iron Triangle and Nam-hyeon. The emotional connection among these four characters is very strong.

Personally, I find Nam Seung-Ryong to be an important character as well. He was the one who initially encouraged Son Kee-Jung not to give up his marathon career. I quite like his personality – he always thinks of others and is willing to sacrifice himself for them. For example, he secretly sold his medal in order to solve Son Kee-Jung’s financial problems that were causing him worry.

Whenever there were conflicts or disagreements between Son Kee-Jung and Suh Yun-Bok, Nam Seung-Ryong acted as a mediator and brought a cheerful atmosphere. His self-sacrificing nature was also evident during the Boston Marathon race, particularly on Heartbreak Hill where he ran alongside Suh Yun-Bok.

It symbolized a passing of the torch from one generation to another, even though he only finished 12th place in the race; he became an important support for younger athletes who could now be seen on stage.

Speaking of generational transition, “Road to Boston” does not solely focus on Son Kee-Jung running another marathon but rather emphasizes his efforts in passing down “sports + patriotism” values to future generations and uniting South Koreans’ hearts once again.

Therefore, at first glance, Son Kee-Jung’s attitude towards those around him may seem painful and discouraging for others; however, once he decides something, he commits fully and strives for excellence. When he started training Suh Yun-Bok during that period of time when they had many conflicts with each other, these conflicts cleverly highlighted Son Kee-Jung’s inner desire for patriotism which eventually erupted within him.

Initially being harsh towards Suh Yun-Bok because of his impatience in wanting him to “love his country,” Son Kee-Jung eventually came to understand and respect Suh Yun-Bok’s difficult family circumstances and the harsh realities of poverty.

From the beginning, Suh Yun-Bok saw running as a means to fulfill his financial needs. His journey in running was filled with pain – poverty, hardships with his mother, and receiving warmth from a monk. Especially on that treacherous hill which accompanied him throughout his childhood, it represented all the struggles he faced.

Son Kee-Jung had a deep understanding of Suh Yun-Bok, starting from when he witnessed him delivering food to the monk after losing his mother. Son Kee-Jung realized that Suh Yun-Bok’s perception of “running” was shaped by past childhood traumas.

Therefore, during the Boston Marathon race in “Road to Boston,” although it is just another race, every step taken by Suh Yun-Bok reflects his desire to run away from the pain of losing his mother and start life anew. He wants to fulfill his promise of creating miracles for himself.

his is why “Road to Boston” is so touching because each step taken by Suh Yun-Bok represents a new goal in life. I believe that at the moment when Suh Yun-Bok becomes champion, one can fully comprehend Son Kee-Jung’s vision and ambition for something greater – passing on the baton for running “for their country” towards an even brighter future.

Road to Boston Ending Explained

In the movie “Road to Boston,” since it is a biographical film, we already know that Suh Yun-Bok will be the champion in the end without having to think about it.

Especially because the title directly tells the audience. But I feel that this film is not about an ending, but rather about the beginning of Suh Yun-Bok’s marathon career. For Suh Yun-Bok, this is not an ending but just a start.

“Road to Boston” creates a sense of sympathy for the characters in the first half of the film and carries it all the way to the race track of the Boston Marathon.

Personally, I really enjoyed this marathon process. The director constantly creates tension because this is Suh Yun-Bok’s first race and he carries with him all expectations from his fellow citizens.

In the first half of this race, he runs side by side with Nam Seung-Ryong. We can deeply feel Nam Seung-Ryong’s expertise as a veteran runner leading every step taken by Suh Yun-Bok. At first, Suh Yun-Bok was not in a leading position and Nam Seung-Ryong kept telling him to stay steady and not let emotions affect his pace impulsively.

Watching “Road to Boston,” I truly understand that marathons are not about who starts off fast but who can remain composed throughout. This completely echoes how sharp-edged Suh Yun-Bok was when receiving training from Son Kee-Jung at first – always clashing with him – but later on becoming more polished under Son Kee-Jung’s guidance. On-field, Suh Yun-Bok finally understands that Son Kee-Jung’s professionalism and advice were correct.

The story arc on-the-track in “Road to Boston” uses increasingly intense atmosphere for depiction but suddenly throws in a major setback midway through which tugs at viewers’ hearts. Suh Yun-Bok is tripped by a dog belonging to a spectator on the racecourse.

The scene where Suh Yun-Bok tries to get back up is quite tear-jerking. This fall brings down the hopes of all South Koreans, but with trembling legs and relentless determination, Suh Yun-Bok desperately tries to stand up again. Alongside someone continuously shouting for him not to rush, only Suh Yun-Bok can make himself stand up on that field – he alone has the power to create miracles.

I really like how “Road to Boston” uses slow-motion shots that shuttle back and forth between Suh Yun-Bok and Son Kee-Jung, two characters whose hearts are tightly connected amidst the crowd. It shows that this is the strength that allows Suh Yun-Bok to rise again.

“Road to Boston” impresses me with its ability to depict a marathon race so brilliantly and intricately, every scene finely portraying emotional resonance. It’s truly a film that can make viewers cry from beginning till end!

Road to Boston Review – Last world

Is ‘Road to Boston’ a good movie? It is considered a biographical film, and although the storytelling is straightforward throughout, I really enjoyed the genuine emotions that this movie evokes.

‘Road to Boston’ doesn’t rely on flashy cinematography or deliberate twists and turns; instead, it simply portrays how Koreans use sports as a strong connection to their nationalism. The story is told plainly, but the portrayal of emotions is excellent. I found myself shedding tears multiple times during this process, as many scenes deeply resonated with me.

Although the focus of ‘Road to Boston’ is marathon running, it goes beyond that by depicting the struggles and challenges faced by athletes whose countries are deprived of recognition and support. This sense of discontentment and adversity reminded me of Taiwan’s situation.

Due to its international political status, Taiwan often feels like it lacks a true belonging in the world of sports. Wearing one’s national flag becomes a source of pride; nationalism and country mean strength for an individual. When someone supports you and takes pride in your achievements, it gives you immense power to persevere.

‘Read to Boston’ tells the story in a way that humanizes its characters while narrating a biographical film. It not only introduces viewers to Son Kee-Jung as a legendary figure but also showcases South Koreans’ efforts and sacrifices at that time in order for their country to be seen on an international stage.

This movie made me admire the bravery and unity displayed by South Koreans back then. Perhaps this can serve as inspiration for Taiwan’s current situation too—not necessarily advocating for bloodshed or radical means but rather recognizing that courage like what South Koreans demonstrated can be possessed by anyone because fighting for one’s country isn’t something that changes overnight; it requires long-term efforts from each individual contributing bit by bit.”

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