‘Golden Slumber’ portrays an ordinary man caught up in extraordinary events

By Yoon Min-sik
  • Published : Jan 21, 2018 - 14:47
  • Updated : Jan 21, 2018 - 14:47

The novel “Golden Slumber” by Isaka Kotaro, follows a man caught up in a politics-based conspiracy, fighting for his life. While this may sound Jason Bournesque, it is really a tale about humanity.

Noh Dong-seok, director of the Korean movie adaptation of the “Golden Slumber,” said that his movie’s focal point is that the hero -- framed as a terrorist -- is an everyman.

“The person embroiled in such a massive incident is not an action hero, but just an ordinary guy. The point of my directing was to let the audience feel that any of them could be in (protagonist Kim Gun-woo’s) shoes,” Noh said in a press conference for the movie held Wednesday in Seoul. 

The cast and director of “Golden Slumber” pose for a photo after a press conference in Seoul on Wednesday. From left: Kim Eui-sung, Kang Dong-won, Noh Dong-seok, Kim Dae-myung and Kim Sung-kyun. (Yonhap)

Kang Dong-won plays Kim, a wholesome, likeable worker at a package delivery service who gains unexpected fame when he saves pop star. His life changes abruptly when an explosion kills a presidential candidate in a terrorist attack, and he is blamed for it.

“(My character) propels the plot forward, so I worked on allowing the viewers to liken themselves to Gun-woo as much as possible,” said Kang.

The actor, who has appeared in socially-conscious films like “1987: When the Day Comes,” said that he felt that he movie would be relevant among Korean people. He said he is the one who proposed to the production company that it be made into a film.

“The message was clear and I felt like it would be interesting if it was made into a film here. ... I had a sense of duty as to accurately deliver the novel’s message to the audience,” he said. 

Kang Dong-won (left), Kim Sung-kyun (center) and Kim Dae-myung listen to a question during a press conference for “Golden Slumber” in Seoul on Wednesday. (Yonhap)

Noh said that he felt the need to reflect Korean society for the audience to really follow the story.

“At the same time, I wanted to retain the original story’s idea: The fear an ordinary citizen feels within a huge system, about who can be on one’s side,” he said.

As in the novel, several of his friends are find themselves in danger as he runs for his life. Han Hyo-joo, Kim Sung-kyun and Kim Dae-myung plays his friends Sun-young, Geum-chul and Dong-gyu. As is the book, the movies is more about the friendship than the actions, shown in Sun-young’s line “He didn’t ‘used to be’ my friend. He still is.”

The stressed that the music will play a big part in conveying the message about friendship and nostalgia.

“Golden Slumbers,” off “Abbey Road” album by The Beatles, reminisces upon the bygone days, recorded in the legendary group’s final years together. It was remade for the purpose of this movie, sung by K-pop star Lee Hi and Kang Seung-yoon of Winner.

Production staff said that The Beatles’ song represents the nostalgic factor prominent in the movie, while tracks by Korean artist late Shin Hae-chul will represent the friendship among the characters.

“Golden Slumber” opens in theaters on Feb. 24.

By Yoon Min-sik