Smugglers (Milsu) 2023 Movie: Nostalgic Ride Into 1970s Korea

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Smugglers (Milsu) movie is a nostalgic ride into 1970s Korea. This female-stars-led action movie takes us back in time to when the smuggling business was expanding its footprints.

The smugglers were one of the most active criminals in the 1970s era across the world. They operated not only in Korea but also in many other countries. It was a different world.

Synopsis of the Smugglers (Milsu) 2023 movie

It is an action crime film set in the 1970s in a small, peaceful village by the sea where two women get unexpectedly caught up in a high-stakes smuggling scheme.

Spoiler Free Review of the Smugglers (Milsu) 2023 movie

The introduction

This fictional tale is set in a small coastal village in Guncheonl which is geographically not very far from Jeju city. It narrates a story about the illegal but thriving smuggling operations in 1970s South Korea. At the same time, the traditional fishing business was struggling to make any kind of decent money. The new chemical factories were coming up, but they were polluting and killing marine life including the precious sea fishes.

As a result, the traditional Jeju Haenyeo (해녀; sea women or female divers in South Korea) who have harvested shellfish and other sea treasures for hundreds of years suffered. Their livelihoods were threatened too. So, given all kinds of extreme circumstances and limited opportunities, some of these women (Haenyeo) became smugglers. It is their stories.

So, what is the basic storyline?

The two leading female characters Jo Choon-Ja (Kim Hye-Soo) and Jin-Sook (Yum Jung-Ah) are Haenyeo in the film. These two along with their friends use their extensive knowledge of marine life, diving, swimming, and other sea experiences to earn illegal money through smuggling of the goods. But everything is not hunky-dory in their criminal life. As they face numerous challenges from their foes, friends, competitions, customs, and others.

In simple words, it is also about the female brain versus the male brawn. In a way, this movie also tells a revenge tale. Wherein, these women overcome personal losses to fight back.

Who gets to win in the end and lead a happy and prosperous life?

That is the basic story.

About its ensemble cast and other aspects

We liked the feisty and strong-willed women characters of Kim Hye-Soo (Jo Choon-Ja), Yum Jung-Ah (Jin-Sook), Go Min-Si (Go Ok-Bun) and others in this film. In this female-centric film, most of the male actors do not have much to do, except perhaps the antagonists like Zo In-Sung (Sergeant Kwon), Kim Jong-Soo (Lee Jang-Chun) and others in the film. All of them have done a fairly good acting job in it.

Its director has done a good job in this nostalgic trip into the past. The dresses, the boats, the set designs, and the cinematography all of them worked well to take us to the 1970s era. We also liked the Korean songs in it. In addition, we liked the action sequences in it. However, a couple of them were too violent for our taste. Especially, the fight scenes which involved knives and other sharp objects. But, the underwater chase and fight sequences were quite good. Not to forget the superb cameo by the dangerous hunting shark.

The conclusion

To be honest, this film does have a few flaws. But, one can overlook them. So, we just sat back, relaxed and watched this adventurous film. We loved those scenes where this bunch of brave Haenyeo women dived into the sea and came out with a fortune. Overall, it is a fun and exciting Korean drama about family, friendship, enmity and of course smuggling. With enough twists and turns, its novelty kept us engaged and entertained. We liked this film.

Ratings of the Smugglers (Milsu) 2023 movie

FM rating3.50/5
FM short commentThe female stars in this 1970s smuggling tale from Korea stole the scenes in the movie. We liked this novel anecdote with fresh and original content.
Ratings of the Smugglers (Milsu) 2023 movie

Poster of the Smugglers (Milsu) 2023 movie

Smugglers (2023) Movie Poster
Smugglers (2023) Movie Poster

Key Details of the Smugglers (Milsu) 2023 movie

GenreAction, Adventure, Crime
Original languageKorean
Original title밀수 (Milsu) means Smuggling
Released 26 July (Korea) & 15 September, 2023 (World)
Duration2 hours 9 minutes
DirectorSeung-wan Ryu
MusicChang Kiha
WritersCha-won Choi, Seung-wan Ryu, & Kim Jung Youn
CastYum Jung-Ah (Jin-Sook), Kim Hye-Soo (Jo Choon-Ja), Go Min-Si (Go Ok-Bun), Zo In-Sung (Sergeant Kwon), Jeong Min Park (Jang Do-Ri), Kim Jong-Soo (Lee Jhang Chun), Park Joon-Myeon (Yang Geum-Ne), etc.
DistributorNext Entertainment World
About – Smugglers (Milsu) 2023 movie

Trailer of the Smugglers (Milsu) 2023 movie

Official trailer – Smugglers (Milsu) 2023 movie – PVR | YouTube.

Awards won by the Smugglers (Milsu) 2023 movie

Name of the AwardAward category and the Winner
Grand Bell Awards, South Korea2023 Winner Grand Bell Award
Best Director – Seung-wan Ryu

2023 Winner Grand Bell Award
Best Cinematography – Young-hwan Choi
Blue Dragon Awards2023 Winner Blue Dragon Award
Best Film

2023 Winner Blue Dragon Award
Best Supporting Actor – Zo In-sung

2023 Winner Blue Dragon Award
Best New Actress – Go Min-Si

2023 Winner Blue Dragon Award
Best Music
Chunsa Film Art Awards2023 Winner Chunsa Film Art Award
Best Actress Kim Hye-Soo
Awards – Smugglers (Milsu) 2023 movie

Featured Image & Poster of the Smugglers (Milsu) 2023 movie | Pics. Credit: Next Entertainment World

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