|A scene from the Air Force’s parody of the musical “Les Miserables” (Air Force)|
The South Korean Air Force’s parody of the blockbuster musical film “Les Miserables” has gone viral online, detailing the struggles of conscripted men serving their mandatory military service separated from their loved ones.
A day after the Air Force’s media team posted the video on Youtube, the parody “Les Militaribles” has garnered more than 423,000 views as of midday Thursday, creating buzz on social networking sites around the world.
The 13-minute video opens with rank and file soldiers in combat gear shoveling snow on the runway of an air base. The scene is reminiscent of prisoners in the original film pulling on ropes and singing during heavy rain.
In this version, Jean Valjean is a young airman, and prison guard Javert is portrayed as a harsh duty officer. He later tracks escapee Valjean as a policeman.
His girlfriend braves the blistering cold and snow to see her enlisted boyfriend, and the two briefly share a heartfelt rendition of the classic “I Dreamed a Dream.”
Valjean struggles to quickly finish shoveling snow and spend more time with his girlfriend, but Javert drives him to return to his post to continue to clearing snow, creating tension in the short film.
In a country where all able-bodied men must serve about two years in the military, young men in their early 20s are forced to suspend their studies and careers and be separated from their friends and families, enjoying limited freedom.
The parody version well illustrates one of the most hated tasks among conscripted soldiers. Many of those who have served in front-line units in mountainous regions often say they hate snow because of bad memories of endless shoveling to clear the so-called “waste from the sky.”
“As much snow has fallen recently, we made this parody musical by linking soldiers’ snow clearing duties and ‘Les Miserables,’” Maj. Chun Myung-nyeong of the Air Force’s media team told Yonhap News. “Air Force soldiers and the marching band collaborated to film this.”
The original has also become a phenomenon in South Korea, with more than 2.5 million moviegoers seeing the film in January alone, according to local box office tallies. (Yonhap News)