[Preview] ‘Perfect Game’ Shows Why Baseball is Popular
Baseball games tell stories of entire lives. Bats aim toward dreams, and balls are thrown with the velocity of life. That’s the beauty of baseball, and that’s also the reason why baseball is more popular than even soccer in Korea.
And now, a film that lives up to this beauty is due to premiere. Perfect Game covers the rivalry between the real life legendary pitchers Choi Dong Won and Sun Dong Ryul.
Choi Dong Won throws, and Sun Dong Ryul throws. Choi from Kyungnam High School, Yonsei University and Gyeongsang Province. Sun from Gwangju High School, Korea University and Jeolla Province. The competition between these two players goes beyond a game of baseball. It’s a war between two legends, and the grounds were a stage for the tears and determination these two men had to show.
Let’s get straight to the point. Perfect Game isn’t a perfect film like the title implies. Because it’s only centered on just one game in which Choi Dong Won and Sun Dong Ryul battle it out, there are some scenes that could’ve been done better.
The view through which the story is told, the eyes of sports newspaper reporter Kim Seo Hyung (Choi Jung Won), isn’t strong enough to deliver the story effectively, and the film doesn’t explain thoroughly what kind of person Choi Dong Won actually is. This is probably because the story of one entire game had to be told in a mere 127 minutes.
Strengths of Perfect Game
Still, the film manages to reach the hearts of its audience with its many other attractions. Another hidden rival battle, the battle between actors Cho Seung Woo and Yang Dong Geun, is one.
Both answered that for this film, they had to undergo some form of transformation, whether it be “gaining weight” (Yang Dong Geun) or “putting on glasses” (Cho Seung Woo). The degrees to which they immerse themselves in their characters are greatly satisfying.
The second is the structure of its emotions. The heroes of Perfect Game are obvious, but the film doesn’t stop at covering the success and personal history of its two heroes.
It hides another layer of emotions in a fictional character named Park Man Su, played by Ma Dong Seok, as a man who struggles to make ends meet with his ‘always second best’ status.
Director Park Hee Gon said, “That’s how life is. Many dream of becoming a Sun Dong Ryul, but they end up being the second best Park Man Su. I wanted to tell the stories of our lives with this meaning.” The two points come together somehow and line the film’s climax with its explosive emotions.
The third is that you can see through this film the history and reality of Korean professional baseball. In Korea, Professional baseball came into being for a political preason, the players were paid so little, and everything was based on personal connections. It also entertains by bringing back the names of the past, such as Kim In Won, Lee Soon Chul, Kim Yong Chul and Han Dae Hwa.
A touching story that transcends the borders of Gyeongsang and Jeolla, baseball and soccer. ★★★★☆. Premieres December 21.
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Photo credit: Perfect Game
Translation credit: Erika Kim
- Choi Jung Won (actress) 20111213 Yang Dong Geun 20111213 Ma Dong Seok 20111213 Cho Jin Woong 20111213 Perfect Game 20111213