A well-written piece of work, Escape From Mogadishu is the intelligent, suspense-piece that the industry has desperately needed.
Written and directed by Ryoo Seung-wan (The Berlin File, Veteran), the film navigates a bold attempt to escape from the capital of Somalia (Mogadishu) in 1991 when civil war breaks out. If that wasn’t enough tension for you to imagine, South Korea’s efforts for acceptance into the United Nations were being hindered by a local government and a rival nation. There was drama and suspense from every angle in this film but also intelligent, thought-provoking dialogue.
The film is excellent from top to bottom. Filmed in Korean with English subtitles, the text was timely and wasn’t rushed (which was greatly appreciated as a lot of international films can’t say this). The acting was amazing, especially from the two main characters, Rim (Joon-ho Huh) and Kang (In-Sung Jo). Even more impressive than the acting, was the filming itself. It was shot in just under four months in the beautiful country of Morocco. Wrapping in February 2020, the project was completed just as international travel was being impacted by COVID-19.
As a senior delegate, Rim was tasked with rallying enough votes from African officials to vote in favor of South Korea’s membership into the United Nations. Kang was providing support in his role as a demotion, as he was usually in the field on assignment, but came to Somalia bearing gifts for the President and others. It didn’t take long to discover that the group would be fighting an uphill battle as North Korea were also vying for a spot in the UN and weren’t above using unsavory tactics to achieve their goal. Two rival countries jockeying for positioning in another continent, a language barrier, deception, lies, crooked government, and a full-blown uprising are all elements of an international thriller.
I give Escape From Mogadishu a 9.5 out of 10. The one part with CGI was a bit of a distraction (and unnecessary) but overall the film is chocked full of excitement and suspense. Keep an eye on this special project as it will be submitted by South Korea for the 94th Academy Awards – Best International Feature Film.
The film will have digital availability starting Oct. 19, 2021 HERE
Photos: Courtesy of Well Go USA Entertainment