Secretly and Greatly 은밀하게 위대하게 : The Movie

So last week (even though it's still final week) Me and Jessica went to the cinema to watch a movie. Taking advantage from the Student Discount every Wednesday we came to watch a recently released movie called "Secretly Greatly" or 은밀하게 위대하게 that is so BIG, like everybody had went and watch the movie. all image credits goes to naver.com

Obviously I also want to watch Star Trek, but I chose this movie instead. I think this will be my second time writing about movie, I wrote about "Dogani" or "The Crucible", you can read my post here!

Here's what I got from asianwiki.com

"Won Ryu-Hwan (Kim Soo-Hyun) trained in the North Korean Special Forces. He can speak five languages and is also a lethal killing machine. Two years ago, he received orders to deploy to South Korea as a spy.
While wondering in a poor neighborhood in Seoul, Won Ryu-Hwan passed out and was awakened by a worried old mother. The woman then allowed him to live in a small apartment above her modest convenient store and let him work in her store. His identity in South Korea is now Bang Dong-Gu and he has taken up the persona of a goofy, mentally challenged young man. Since that time, Bang Dong-Gu has gotten to know everybody in the neighborhood and has become attached to the woman who treats him like her second son.
One evening, Bang Dong-Gu receives a visitor in his small apartment. His visitor is Lee Hae-Rang (Park Ki-Woong), who trained in the same North Korean Special Forces Unit. Lee Hae-Rang has also received orders from North Korea to work covertly as a spy in South Korea. His persona is that of a young wannabe rock star. Lee Hae-Rang finds it difficult, because he never played the guitar before. Shortly later, Ri Hae-Jin (Lee Hyun-Woo), also a member of their special forces team in North Korea, arrives in the same neighborhood. While the three young men live unnoticed among their neighbors, they await orders from North Korea. Their order finally arrives."

If you're a crazy Korean drama fan, you wouldn't not know about Kim Soohyun. Me myself recognized him first from "Dream High", outside from Suzy's lousy acting in the first half of the drama, it was ok. Then, from "The Moon that Embraces The Sun", which was beyond awesome!! Honestly speaking, I'm not a fan of Korean drama, I don't watch most of dramas that are popular. And even if I watched them it should be a very very very interesting piece so that it could keep me interested until the end. I stopped watching Coffee Prince (even though there's Kim Jaewook and Gongyoo because it get very predictable near the end. 

Ok to the movie again! 
Kim Soohyun played as "Won Ryuhwan" (I do think North names are much prettier that South's), he acted as a North Korean Elite spy that is assigned to reside in Seoul, South Korea. He is very skilled and according to the profile showed in the beginning of the movie, Ryuhwan also can speak 5 languages! 

In the movie, he had been residing in Seoul for 2 years now, and as his cover up as : 'The Neighborhood Fool'. He truly immersed to his persona, as the movie

showed how he calculate everything so that everyone believes that he is 'mentally challenged', like his snots and how he interact with everyone in the neighborhood.

He has been waiting his pager to ring patiently all through the time when suddenly 2 other spies shows up. First up was "Lee Haerang" played by Park Kiwoong, his appearance sure is shocking, with vivid orange hair and leather jacket, his persona was an aspiring rock star. The surprise continues with Lee Hyunwoo appearance, played as "Ri Haejin" and his persona was a normal high-school student.

There're actually deeper connection between these three. Ryuhwan and Haerang apparently come from the same squad since their early years of military training and they've been a rival to each other, that says that Haerang is as strong as Ryuhwan. Ryuhwan is actually pissed off with Haerang arrival to South Korea because he's confident on executing any assignments given alone, or in other way the government had decided to desert him. Ryuhwan is son of a General back in the North. His character is so free and easy going, and might be the effect of growing in a wealthier family (I assume that, because of his father position)

Haejin, compared to those two, are lower in ranks and age, but that doesn't make him less excellent. Ryuhwan is ofcourse not a stranger to Haejin. Having been stationed in the same training camps Haejin always respects Ryuhwan's skill. Haejin still vividly remembered the moment when he first time encountered Ryuhwan in the training field as a little boy. At first he appears to be cocky and cold but he can't hide the happiness when Ryuhwan actually still remembers his name. Well, Ryuhwan could speaks 5 languages..so...... Haejin also the youngest "Team Leader" ever in North Korea, at the age of 18. Which mean Haejin, Haerang and Ryuhwan all share the same position. I just came back reading the webtoon series (Which this movie was based on) and the relationship between Ryuhwan and Haejin is completely a yaoi bromance. But because movie shares bigger audience, the might be decided to make it 'softer' so people can accept it.

Together, as they wait for the assignments to come, they bonds together with people in the neighborhood and Ryuhwan, being residing there the longest, felt the utmost connection and grew affections to the people. Their neighborhood is not the best, it was a poor neighborhood in the metropolis. Ryuhwan, while maintaining his persona, using his superior skills as an elite spy he saved quite a few time, and sometime comically, his neighbor.

nice smirk!!

Suddenly in North Korea, a big change in its power raised and Ryuhwan's longed assignments finally come, also to other elite spies in South Korea, not missing Haejin and Haerang too. The 'Secret and Great' mission is to commit suicide. This mission is also the effect of "The Second Battle of YeonPyeong" that demand North Korea to turn in 30+ their spies in South Korea. To prevent the elites to fell onto South Korean, they command elites to commit suicide. 

I personally like this poster the best!! Please Park Giwoong keep the hair please please! 

Sounds interesting? Yes it is

Overall this movie I would give 4 out 5 stars. But 10 out of 5 for the casts. Brilliant, brilliant casts. As if this movie was made only for girls to droll over this 3 men charms. I would give 5 out 5 for the story, if I could totally understands it :( As a non-native somewhat intermediate Korean speaker this movie is very difficult to get.
This movie wrapped in comedy, melodrama, action, and a little bit of yaoi in 2 hours. That's a great point, but also I felt that the time to feel in deeply with the characters and scenes on how they interact with the new environment in South Korea is lacking. I really like how these 3 together in the same scene, but I don't think I got enough of those. 

I can't question the actors acting ability, because they just talented and speaking in North Korean dialect, I don't think that is an easy task at all. Among those 3 I was surprised with Lee Hyunwoo, because I think he actually went to another level of acting, those action moves and action, you Hyunwoo Nuna fans, go watch this!! 

To be honest I can't wait for the English Subtitle to come out. Not only I want to fully understand the story, but I also want to rewatch the movie (Those yaoi moment. omg.) So I totally recommend this movie. I hope it will be soon known to others too that North Korean and South Korean bad relationships make people actually suffers. (Spoiler here: block the text to see! I was deeply moved by the moment when Ryuhwan (Kim Soohyun) wrotes letter to his mom and keeps them under the floor because he can't send them and he also kept his mom photograph in a plastic wrap. It's really sad that in this modern world communication is still someone's biggest problem TT_TT)

If you're interested but still not sure, or can't watch the movie yet, I recommend you to check out the webtoon series. After watching and reading it for a while I think the movie could grasp the scene really.  Some of the scenes even better in the movie. A lot of the conversation is taken straight away from the webtoon, explaining the comical scenes.

Here is Won RyuHwan (in white shirt) and Ri Haerang (Blue training) in the webtoon! 

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  1. omg that movie looks real good! but i dont think its already released in singapore yet :c im a big fan of kim soohyun! (yes,from dreamhigh despite of suzy's lame acting) and also lee hyunwoo! the plot seems really interesting, but i dont read your review until the end though (preventing any spoilers lol)

    anyway, i already bleached my hair before i dyed it :p

    1. I hope it get released soon in singapore because I also want to watch one with english subtitles!!! This movie is pure fangirling moment for soohyun and hyunwoo lovers!!! Lol

      How come your color fade away in 3 days!! Hahaha your hair sure had a strong dye resistance lol

    2. where to watch this movie...?

  2. lovely post! <3
    shall we follow each other?

    sweet and sugars,

  3. thanks for the review. Im not a k-movie or k-drama fan. But im fan of Kim Soo Hyun. :) (the one and only actor that i like from korea) I read original webtoon. :) I want to know how was soohyun's acting. He played 2 opposite role. How was his transformation between two role? Sorry if it's ok for you. Could you tell me more concentrate on soohyun's acting.? :) sorry for my bad english. :)

    1. Thankyou for reading my post lol! About soohyun's acting, i can't complain anything really. The transition between the "idiot" and "elite spy" was so natural, not only because of his excellent acting skill, but also because the soohyun's inner heart feelings are sometimes shown through his "persona". But ofcourse I can guarantee you, that you'll still be drolling over kim Soohyun's action skills!!!

  4. Do you know where/when you can watch this movie with English subtitles? I REALLY want to see it!

    1. The movie just been released to the cinema, so I don't think it will be available anytime soon :(
      I know! I want to see them with English Sub too! :" Let's pray it's not that long until the eng sub available on the internet :p

  5. I didn't intend to watch this but ended up doing so randomly with a friend. I really enjoyed the first half, especially the interactions between the spies and the townspeople, but I felt the transition to intense dramatic action didn't really work. The tone was so uneven and I feel like that worked against the film. The action wasn't that interesting for me, either, it's just... pretty boys laying waste to hordes of bad guys while shrugging off bullet wounds and stab wounds like there's no tomorrow. I didn't feel much tension either, for some reason. They also tried way too hard to tug at the heartstrings in the end, but I guess the filmmakers can't be blamed for that since it's almost entirely faithful to the webtoon, I heard.

    I went in to see it with little expectations or preconceptions since I hadn't read the webtoon and don't watch K-dramas or movies (despite being Korean). I thought it was okay, I did get kind of bored in parts but it wasn't terrible. I was surprised at how bad the critics' ratings are for the film on Naver is though (4.88/10) but I have to say that 90% of the movie's appeal is watching the leads be pretty and badass occasionally funny... honestly I don't see why else the movie's so successful here, other than because of the webtoon fanbase, maybe. As people say, it's a star vehicle for the three leads, they're good in it but the movie itself is kind of meh :/ That said I liked the guys quite a lot but not so much the actual movie.

    1. Haha! I could relate to you on some points, the movie itself felt kinda of rushed (packing 60++ chapters to 120+ minutes movie, meh) and yeah they did tried too hard to make the viewer weep at the end. But that's Korean movie for ya, you have to put on some sobbing sad drama on any movie! :D Which I don't hate it at all.

      Like you did, the portrait of the 3 leads relationship are the scenes I enjoy the most and what can I say more, if not because of those 3 men this movie would sunk. But I do enjoy stories about North Korean so after I got the grasp of the story I don't think it was that bad lol Thankyou for sharing your opinion! XD

  6. Hey! Do you know where can i watch the movie online? I couldn't find it anywhere ;-; Please help me ;;

    1. Sorry :( It just released in Korea I don't think it will be in the internet for some while! Be patient it would not be long!

  7. Secretly Greatly is opening in Singapore on 18th July. www.facebook.com/purpleplan

  8. Two thumps up for the bromance in this movie.
    I was squealing while watching this MV of an OST sung by Hyunwoo : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jJbpqZS47Y

    1. ME TOOO hahahahaha I squeal a lot too when watching the MV lol!! BROMANCE FTW

  9. Ahhh! i want it to go online with subs! i've been dying to see it since it cme out in Korea!!!

  10. The movie is online so can anybody make us english sub pleaase! here's the link

  11. I like the story of the manga as well as the casting. I do agree on how Lee Hyunwoo hyped the bar for the movie, his a year older than me so I still consider him young but his acting is so professional. Whenever he has a project, whatever his character is, he is able to create a whole new different person out of him.

  12. Hi i'm an italian girl and i 've create a blog about ulzzang, korean beauty product , make up and recipes ! and also italian style and fashion ;-)
    I just found your blog and it's really beautiful ^.^ i've been lookinf for this movie but unfortunately it's still without eng subs :-( i wish to learn korean asap :-( i will folloe you now on ^.^ it would be really nice if you could follow me too ! with love Maryangel

    1. you have a cool blog! and you're very pretty!! :D I've followed you ;))
      I know! This movie has whole lot difficult words + North Korean accent that made everything worse :( This is a great movie I hope the eng sub version / dvd to be release as fast as possible because this movie deserve bigger fans :D

  13. When I was in Seoul this past summer themovie was in theaters but I did not watch it despite being there for the whole summer! But today, I finally watched the movie :)

    I agree with your review of the three male leads - they're super awesome and the delivery of their roles was excellent.

    There're some parts of the movie that I don't understand, though. Especially the case of Ryuhwan's mother. So is she still alive? Or did she die?

    I love the relationship of the grocery store ahjumma and Ryuhwan, of how she treated him as though he's her 2nd son. I cried at the end when I saw the words on the wall...

    1. yes!! I'm really glad that you enjoyed the movie as much as I did! :D
      As for Ryuhwan mother, the people from NK claimed that they killed all of the revolting elite's family member, but I doubt that they killed Haerang's family too, so I think Ryuhwan's mom is probably have died.

      I know!! I cried at the end too! Such a tear jerker.

  14. Hi! Do you know if the webtoon series is subbed in English? Love your blog's name, btw :)


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