The exhilarating South Korean zombie thriller Train To Busan (屍殺列車) took audiences in many countries by storm. A zombie apocalypse forces a group of strangers to overcome their differences for a chance to survive or it could be the end of the world for them. So here comes the burning question…who do you want to be and who will you really be if you are caught in the very same situation one day? (we hope that day doesn’t arrive)
Here’s a recap of the characters for you to think about…
- The Fund Manager aka universally recognized white collared worker:
He who faces corporate battles and client rants every day that he has no time for family but we don’t fully blame him because we know how much office jobs can suck.
Most people would identify with Seok Woo and understand his job blues. Maybe he wasn’t such an unfeeling person but going to work every has turned him into some robot. Nonetheless, he is one of our heroes to salute in this film. A normal, every day man who eventually helps to save the day and his daughter’s life.
2. The helpless little girl who has one strong belief: You shouldn’t be selfish.
There was this moment I almost felt like slapping Seok Woo’s daughter Su An – here you have your father trying to protect you (although he may be a tad selfish) but because of some morals you strongly want to uphold, you refuse to go with him. But this is one conflict that helps drives the story. Of course I don’t really wanna slap Su An so much, she is probably the conscience of the story. When so much is going on, all the adults are crazily obsessed with their own survival but one child keeps repeating to us: Hey, you were once innocent and you can save other people.
3. The Charming Savior: You are armed with no great weapons but a baseball bat and muscles, and will save the damsel no matter what. #SquadGoals
Young Guk is as bold as any adult. He is the symbolism a friendship (and teenage romance, can’t escape this part) in the film. Handsome, strong and likeable. You really hope that he successfully saves the damsel and they end up together.
4. The Till-Death-Do-Us-Apart Lover (or the other half of the teenage romance): You many only be a girl. Your love may be one-sided but for him, you will strive and sacrifice everything you have to be with him.
Jin Hee is no simple girl here. Her friends are become infected except for Young Guk – this immediately forms a bond between the two. She may look like a helpless lady but don’t offend her. Worst, don’t try to harm her squad or something bad could happen to you. Her strong points – she believes in those she loves 🙂
5. The Lovable Chubby Husband: The one Hero you root for even if it means holding your bladder because you don’t wanna miss what happens to him.
Sang Hwa knows he not only has a pregnant wife to protect – there are other human lives at stake. He is the one man who is righteous from the beginning and probably the most celebrated character. He is that someone you hope you will meet when such a terrible scenario really happens. I believe most audiences hope that they can be like Sang Hwa but when a life threatening situation breaks out, it’s hard to say who we will become…
6. The Wife of the Lovable Chubby Husband (the other half of the heroic duo): Never underestimate what a woman can do.
She may be pregnant but her husband’s life is at stake. But she has a heart that is bigger that anyone else. Doing the right thing at the right time, you’ll be glad to run into her during an apocalypse.
7. The Nasty Businessman and his sidekicks you want to get rid of
“I’ll stab you to death” – Stephen Chow’s dialogue expresses what most audience would love to do to
Don’t you just feel like slapping this whole bunch of people? The extreme example that shows there’s no hope in humanity. Yong Suk makes your blood boil even if he is just sitting there and when he opens his mouth, he makes you want to muster every bit energy and slap him until he doesn’t wake up anymore. Selfish is too light a word to use on him. He is beyond redemption – he only cares for himself and his own safety, and even kills other human beings to get his way. His character reaches the extend that…if you see the actor in real life, you will want to teach him a lesson in your own way.
8. The Dutiful Captain of KTX: He who doesn’t have a lot of screen time but you know the entire train is moving because of him
The honorable captain who doesn’t give up and tries all ways he can to bring his passengers to safety. He had one job and he did it well.
9. The Homeless Man who sways with the wind
Everyone sees you as a nobody, an extra, a burden. You may not be someone great but you are after all, a human life. You might not have great contribution, all you wish for is some help to tide you through this crisis.
Any other characters you wish to add to this list?
One reason for the film’s success is seeing relatable characters react to a situation that could mimic a real life scenario – we may not be passengers boarding a train to Busan to escape a zombie apocalypse but it can lead us to think about the many sides of humanity when danger happens.