Imagine that during World War II, Japan had allied with the US, and the bombs were not dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but on Berlin. In Si-myung Lee’s 2009 Lost Memories, that is the reality.
In 1909, a failed assassination attempt on a Japanese foreign minister Ito Hirobum i(which in real life was successfully done by legendary Korean patriot Ahn Chung-gun) has changed the course of history as we know it. Now Korea is just another part of the great Japanese empire.
After a successful foiling of a terrorist attack on a Museum displaying ancient cultural artifacts. J.B.I agent Sakamoto (Jang Dong Gun) begins to uncover information about a familiar looking relic known as the “Lunar Soul”. An item that the underground band of Korean born freedom fighters (the same behind the unsuccessful attack on the museum), are willing to sacrifice everything to obtain. As he starts to unravel the mystery behind the “Lunar Soul”, everything he thought he knew about the world he lives in suddenly gets turned upside down.
Time travel could be a very dangerous thing. Many people believe that everything, good or bad, happens for a reason. So the idea of time travel is both fascination, and terrifying because its very true that the slightest change, could have an enormous affect on the future. So imagine what would happen if the change that occurs is far greater then just stepping on a bug.
2009 is a films that does start out at a rather slow pace, but once the story really sets off, it manages to get its hooks in you, and doesn’t let go, and when it gets you there is quite a story to tell. The plot is a think one indeed, and there is plenty of time to tell it. The film clocks in at a 136 minutes. Luckily the plot is not hard to follow. In fact the story is so well told, that despite its many layers and twists, its easy to keep on track and understand what’s going on. It could have been very easy for a film such as 2009 to lose its viewers from time to time and require additional viewings. The idea behind the films plot is really kind of brilliant. It truly makes you think, what if? What is someone went back in time and stopped JFK from being shot? What is someone went back in time and killed Hitler when he was a child?
The show stealer for sure is Dong-Gun Jang who plays the lead character Sakamoto, a Korean born agent of the J.B.I., who has forgotten his past. In fact his partner Saigo (Nakamura) basically thinks of Sakamoto as Japanese. At one point of the film he even says “Its strange to think of you as Korean”. Dong-Gun is absolutely stellar in his role, he plays his character with absolute conviction and by the end you actually care for Sakamoto. Who makes a very drastic change in character by the end of the film.
On the outside 2009 looks like it’s going to be an insane, sci-fi adventure, but despite some incredible action scenes, it’s a much laid back investigative thriller. A lot of plot unveiling, accompanied by some great twists and a couple “Oh my god” moments.
It goes without saying that if you have not seen 2009: Lost Memories. You really should. Its very much worth you time, all 136 minutes of it.