After watching one of my now all time favourite k-dramas Stranger, I embarked on an adventure called watching everything Cho Seungwoo ever filmed and his 2005 hit movie Marathon was the perfect choice for this – today we bring our review of this fantastic movie.
As I’m writing this review I feel such a strong wave of missing Stranger (both 1 and 2) that it’s actually insane. I cannot explain to you how much I love that drama and how amazing Cho Seungwoo is in my eyes. I’ve recently rewatched a part of his Hedwig and The Angry Inch and man, is there anything this man doesn’t excel at. Although I’ve watched two more of his films after I watched Marathon, I never got around to writing a review for it so here we are today. With the representation of autism in the current hit drama Extraordinary Attorney Woo making headlines, it’s the perfect time to talk about another big cinematic hit with the same topic.
From MyDramaList: Kyung Sook finds out that her son Cho Won is autistic and feels devastated. But she firmly believes that there is something Cho Won can do very well. Kyung Sook and a former champion marathoner Jeong Wook see Cho Won’s potential as a marathoner, and Cho Won’s assiduous training continues.
No major spoilers ahead – proceed freely:
While I’ll keep this review quite short due to it being more based on feelings, family dynamics and one’s pursuit which is best kept without too many spoilers, I do wish to say that this was one of the loveliest movies I’ve watched this year. Even though the film premiered in 2005 and marked a massive breakthrough for the then 26 years old Cho Seungwoo while bagging over 20 prestigious awards including a Daesang, the topic of it and the sentiment behind it is still just as important. The movie tells the story of a mother (Kim Mi Sook) and her autistic son Cho Won (Cho Seung Woo) while they pursue the idea of him becoming a marathoner. The story partly focuses on Cho Won and his own thoughts and actions, and partly on his mother and her restless dream of finding a purpose for her son. The topic is definitely still an important one and Marathon portrays it in a fantastic way. Nothing is too dramatic, too unrealistic, but simply often raw when it comes to ups and downs and struggles these characters face every day.
Cho Won shows talent for running and even though he manages to win prizes, he is not very good at pacing himself which is when we meet another important character of the film – a former champion in this discipline Jeong Wook who will reluctantly start to help Cho Won. The movie showcases Cho Won’s own issues and problems he encounters on his way to his dream marathon, while also showing us the deep love of his mother which could be a double edged sword for both her and him, and the struggles of the former champion Jeong Wook as well. Marathon will definitely make you think about a lot of things and make you look at certain things a different way. Needless to say that the cast did a phenomenal job with Cho Seungwoo being a force to be reckoned with in this role.
A massive recommendation if you enjoy this kind of realistic but heartfelt genre.
Header Image Source: Showbox