This particular movie sold more than 14 million tickets, thus becoming the second highest-grossing film in the history of Korean cinema. Moreover, it netted 10 awards at the 52nd Grand Bell Awards, including those for Best Movie, Best Director and Best Leading Actors.
The script portrays the most touching episodes in contemporary Korean history, through the life of a man named Yoon Deok Soo, explaining the various reasons for his life choices.
In that fashion, the film begins with the Hungnam evacuation of 1950 during the Korean War, and continues with the massive migration of Koreans to Germany in the 60s in order to find work, and the war in Vietnam in the 70s. It concludes in 1983, when the major broadcast stations in South Korea held TV programs with the purpose of rejoining family members that had been split during the partition of the Korean peninsula.
Respectively, Deok Soo loses his sister, his father becomes a victim of racism and bullying, he works as a miner in Germany and falls in love, joins the Korean Forces in Vietnam, buys his aunt’s shop from his drunken uncle, and finally discovers one of his lost relatives.
The film entails a plethora of dramatic scenes that resonated with the Koreans’ love for melodrama, thus resulting in the film’s commercial success. Furthermore, the movie included wonderful performances by its protagonists, Hwang Jung Min as Yoon Deok Soo, Oh Dal Su as his best friend, who also represents the comic element in the film, and the always gorgeous and sublime Yunjin Kim as his wife.
“Ode to My Father” is a wonderful blockbuster, in the fashion that made “Forrest Gump” an international sensation.