While surveying through the list of movies to choose from during my recent date with the cinemas, I was finding it a little hard to choose between the squishy-furry faced ‘Trolls’ and the thrillingly, captivating ‘Shut In’. But my instinct said to go for neither and explore a genre my taste buds aren’t much familiar with. I ended up purchasing movie tickets for ‘Operation Chromite’, much to the dismay and reluctance of my friend. But sometimes, a person has to leap into the unknown and get a new learning experience- good or bad, cinematic risks should be taken once a while. This one was not regretted.
However if there is one thing I would have done differently, it would have been to really brush up on my historical facts before entering the cinema hall; it would have made it even more interesting. This South Korean production opens with intensity- it focuses on the general in Tokyo and shows North Korean troops have conquered most of the peninsula’s south in about two months. The U.S. (and U.N.) commander must decide what to do next: To either reinforce that significant zone that hasn’t fallen or should they boldly attack farther north. And here enters Liam Neeson as General Douglas MacArthur. Honestly speaking, he was one of the main reasons for watching this Korean War drama. A man whose body language compliments his very distinctive vocal skills, Liam was the ultimate choice for taking on such a heavy role, and the actor doesn’t disappoint. As the General MacArthur, he chooses the latter option, sending eight undercover agents into a hellish Inchon in order to lay the groundwork for the invasion, code-named “Chromite.”
When you are faced with a ‘larger than life’ role and have to compliment the acting styles of the Korean crew and cast, the realization on how big this is kicks in and this might cause a mishap to occur under the pressure but Liam holds his ground. From the perspective of a joint South Korean-American clandestine operation, the movie brings out raw emotions from the characters and manages to keep you hooked with its intensity and suspense, coupled with dialogues that are realistic and impactful, Operation Chromite will make you want to hit the history books to know more on this significant operation and what led to its execution.
While some enactments could have been carried in a more polished way, there is still abundance of freshness in the storytelling. Some of the scenes even manage to stay with you long after you have exited the cinema hall, much like the impertinent moment where one of the spies asks to visit the public market in Incheon for a few minutes- it leaves you in a puddle of emotions as he eyes his wife and child, who sell vegetables there, from afar. Filmmaker John H.Lee knows what he wanted from his actors and settings and commanding the best, he managed to give the viewers a masterpiece. American filmmakers might be able to pick a thing or two from this war movie; just comes to show movies of this genre don’t need to be loud and gory, war can be showcased with a motley of emotions too.