Actor Choi Min-sik back on the big screen as North Korea’s genius mathematician

SEOUL, 15 Feb. (Yonhap) — “Oldboy’s” Choi Min-sik will return to the big screen as a genius mathematician who left North Korea in upcoming drama “In Our Prime.”

Directed by Park Dong-hoon, the film revolves around Hak-sung, played by Choi, a middle-aged North Korean defector who works as a security guard at a private high school in a way to cut himself off from the past.

One day, Ji-woo (Kim Dong-hwi), who doesn’t fit in with his wealthy classmates due to different backgrounds, asks him to teach him math and discovers a new way of life.

“This movie reminded me of the American movie ‘Good Will Hunting,'” Choi said Tuesday during an online press conference. “It’s a movie about school life but about our world. I wish I had such a good movie here, and ‘In Our Prime’ is the one.”

Choi said Hak-sung is a true mathematician who loves math so much that he left North Korea to avoid ideological and political repression. South Korea, however, is also not giving him the chance to realize his dream.

He said he tried not to emphasize Hak-sung’s origin or other political issues, but to express the pain and sadness of a gifted person being forced to stop pursuing. her dreams.

“I can’t understand a genius who feels discouraged and frustrated,” said the veteran actor, who has a variety of high-profile projects under his belt, including Cannes-winning “Oldboy” (2003). “But I can express regret about situations where I have to give up things I really love.”

In “In Our Prime”, math is the main theme as it connects Hak-sung and Ji-woo, who drop math, and some important math equations, constants, and patterns such as pi, or the ratio of circumference. from a circle to its diameter, appears frequently.

But the actor said the film uses science as a helpful way to connect lonely people and doesn’t require viewers to understand complicated mathematical formulas.

“It’s not about hard math, it’s about math-driven human relationships,” Choi said. “I hope this film brings comfort to people going through difficult times.”

Director Park said “In Our Prime”, known as his commercial debut, is a very cordial and polite story between an adult and a child.

“At the end of the movie, I hope everyone feels the moment like they’re enjoying an encore at a music concert,” he said. “It’s not a hard movie about hard math. It’s made by a director who gave up math.”

“In Our Prime” hits local screens on March 9.

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