Once Upon a Time in Seoul aka Boy’s Don’t Cry is melodrama in a post-war setting. Its about two orphans and their hardship/ hooligan life of fending for themselves via the black market after the Korean war. They strive to break-free from their circumstance and do better for themselves (typical, I know). They find themselves as caretakers to other street children and on the underdog side of an opposing local gangster force.
The concepts of friendship and brotherhood prevail throughout the film, adding to the melodramatic sentiments. The film also deals with some realities for street children and a black market run by gangsters. Simply put from the title of Boys Don’t Cry, its a film about drawing the short stick, sucking it up and surviving. Other than being set in post-war Seoul, the historical significance and perhaps realism is questionable (review below):
Other review: Beyond Hollywood
Directed by: Bae Hyeong-Jun
aparoo’s words: post-war, drama, orphans, gangsters, black market, 1950’s
aparoo says 3/5