Monday, January 23, 2006

Only those upon the journey can see the dim road.

Last night I was fortunate enough to see a wonderful film called Musa the Warrior. It is an epic film of freedom, love, and what it means to be the person you truly are. Does it say all of that in one simple sentence? Of course not. It comes through in the wonderful imagery and the fullness of the story of Yeosol Image hosting by Photobucketa Korean slave who is released from slavery by his master who raised him from a boy and is a Korean envoy to China. Yeosol's master dies on a long march back to Korea. Why are they going back to Korea? Things did not go so well with the envoys and General Choi, who is arrogant and immature at best, decides they are all going back to Korea.

On their march many fall, those who are still alive are executed and a lock of their hair taken so it can at least be returned to Korea. Also on their march they fall into a campsite, almost literally, of Mongol soldiers. Low and behold, there is a Ming princess being held captive and she drops a silken handkerchief with the words "help me" on it, which General Choi finds and upon catching a glimpse of her pretty face, he decides they are going to rescue her, as well as Yeosol who has been captured by the Mongol soldiers. It is the Mongol general that hopes Yeosol will decide to join the Mongol army because he admires the young man's skill and ability with the spear.

The princess sees Yeosol and appreciates him from afar, but she is a princess and he is an ex-slave, so romance, as we in the West would view it, does not take place. There isn't any kissing or love-making, but there is love and a reality in this love that forces us even deeper into this story. At one point Yeosol, who does not speak Chinese, is yelling at the princess in Korean, and she, in turn, is yelling back at him in Chinese. (Don't we all do that at one point or another in our relationships?)

General Choi also admires the princess, he has a better chance with her, of course, because he is a Korean general, but he also sees how she favors Yeosol. There is some anger, but there is also honor.

This is one of those films where everyone on screen matters to the viewer in one form or another, even the Mongol general who has the "bad guy" slot. You end up feeling for him as well because he does not want to do what he knows the job requires, but he does it any way - he is a Mongol general who is loyal to his people and his Khan.

There is action in this film from minute one and continues until the very end. As for the ending itself, I'm not going to tell you. Being an Asian film, it is sad, but it has an honor and a loyalty about it that cannot fully be brought across here.

And this guy Image hosting by Photobucket is dangerous with a bow! I was much impressed. Actually I was as impressed with him as with Yeosol's use of the spear.

Rent the movie. Enjoy it.

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