Baek Yun-Sik, Im Ha-Ryong, Park Jun-Gyu, Im Byung-Gi, Lee So-Yeon
A salaryman nearing retirement has for all of his working life hidden his secret desire to become a drummer. But suddenly, he and his co-workers begin to realize that each of them is hiding some musical skill.
BRAVO! For Bravo My Life!
Four veteran actors, Baek Yoon-sik (“Art of Fighting“, 2000), Park Joon-gyoo (“My Wife Is a Gangster 2“, 2003) and Im Ha-ryong (“Welcome to Dongmakgol“, 2005) make breakthrough lead performances in “Bravo My Life – 2007“, now showing in theaters. Inspired by the true story of a group of white-collar rockers Gapgeunse (Grade A Earned Income Tax) Band, the movie traces the depressing retirement of Min-hyuk (Baek Yoon-sik).
Diligent but far from ambitious, 50-year-old Min-hyuk dedicated 30 years to his firm. Awaiting his retirement “due to old age” in 30 days, the man sighs deeply, saddened by the “three tragedies of modern man: Having to retire while still young, breaking one’s back to earn children’s tuition fees and not even being able to die because of a longer lifespan”.
While Min-hyuk’s employees prepare a special farewell gift for him, hidden talents of fellow workers are unveiled: Min-hyuk was once an aspiring rocker, with a flair for drumming, while Seung-jae and Seok-won turn out to be guitarists, and Jong-su is a saxophone player.
These four unlikely white-collar workers form a rock band and relive the glory of their youth, adding color and rhythm to their dull, monotonous lives.
This movie is masterful weaving of a heartwarming story about moving on with a bang, and letting go. It’s tinged with sadness throughout the movie, but is tempered by joy. The use of a band, and music is also a good tie-in and relates to a wide audience, certainly those that are of middle-aged men. Playfully, this film briefly touched upon generational gaps in both the work place and personal life of Korean men. It also serves as a reminder that there is a such a thing as “aging gracefully”.