The Admiral: Roaring Currents : Fact and fiction in the movie

Fact and fiction in the movie

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http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=2993611

Overall the film was meh for me, with the departures from the true story and typical hollywood style suspensions of the laws of physics and apparent communication of an important point by telepathy (the mute girlfriend/wife.

Like I felt with 300, the original story as we understand it is so powerful that it did not need fictional embellishment, but YMMV.

Re: Fact and fiction in the movie

Too many embellishments and dramatic interpretations. Other than that core story still remains. 12/13 ships went against superior number if Japanese ships and Yi came out as a winner. I thought the movie was better than an average and you get a chance to see ancient sea vessels.

My life isn't any better than yours.

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Re: Fact and fiction in the movie

It's sad that we need to lie the whole time to have a great movie these days. Oh yeah it's called propaganda. Let's hope this Korean movie isn't too wannabe Jewrican.

Re: Fact and fiction in the movie

I don't think there is intent to Lie, or change the plot of what happened in History. It is a Movie… There are a host of angles to add to the Known facts- like relationships, love, and film makers artistry to fill in the unknowns… That's why it is called a Movie or Epic… If you want only factual premise, then that's called a reenactment or documentary. People differ in their interpretation of Entertainment. If you like good movies, well told stories, and action and character development with a historical theme- then Watch this Movie… If you just want the Facts… Read a book or watch a documentary on History Channel.

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Re: Fact and fiction in the movie

I was under the impression that the whole point of introducing the deaf wife in act one was so that we would understand that she could read his lips in act five. Yes, there was some suspension of disbelief that she could see that clearly that far, but no, it wasn't telepathy.

Re: Fact and fiction in the movie

SPOILER

Poetic License

1. Yi's ship was never boarded. Those battles happened to his second in command.
2. Bae Soel (who saved the 12 ships) fled the night before but was not killed then. He was later found hiding in his home village and hanged.
3. There was no mutinous attempt to kill Yi the night before battle.
4. Wife screaming. She spent the whole movie screaming, I don't think it's true.
5. Battle time was chosen deliberately to leverage the tides via Yi sending a scout ship to lure the japanese fleet towards Myeongnyang at the right instant.
6. There was no turtle ship left. Yi planned to scare Michifusa with a ship modified to look like a Turtle ship, but there was no time.

True

1. Won Gyun had Yi imprisoned & tortured and lost Yi's fleet in only 4 months
2. The emperor released Yi from prison and he had only 12 ships and days to fight with.
3. Peasant fishermen donated 32 narrow (not battle) ships to the fight
4. At the outset the other 11 ships held back and Yi's flagship fought alone
5. It was 12 ships against 131 according to journals of Yi and his nephew
6. Of the other ~200 ships, most were supply ships and troop carriers (non-lethal)
7. Yi invented modern naval warfare. No need to say more
8. Yi hung a general's (not Michifusa's but Madashi's) head from his flagship. Madashi was killed, however, close enough.

Not Sure

1. Was the village actually burned down
2. Were all the Japanese atrocities documented true
3. Was Yi actually 200 years ahead of everybody else in political thought
4. Was there really a bomb ship
5. Was it peasants who saved Yi's ship from the whirlpool

Re: Fact and fiction in the movie

"4. Was there really a bomb ship "

It's called a demolition ship.

Re: Fact and fiction in the movie

The ships look like they are going too fast. Roman rowed galleys with pointed prows, which were designed to ram opponents, could cruise at 7 knots with burst speeds up to 10 knots. However, the Korean ships with their flat prows would probably have cruised at 2-3 knots, i.e. walking speed. They would not have generated white wakes as depicted in the movie. Presumably the director thought that a naval battle conducted at a snail's pace would not get the viewer's blood up sufficiently.

18th century smooth-bore muskets could hit a man at 25 yards, although they had a longer range without accuracy. The 16th century arquebuses depicted were much more primitive than 18th century muskets however. I am guessing they could be effective in volleys, but sniping was out of the question.

Unfortunately, the movie does not explain that the Koreans had the advantage in long-range cannon fire and that they had strung up chains across the narrow strait to prevent the Japanese fleet from massing against them, largely eliminating the Japanese advantage in numbers. Similar to the battle of Agincourt where a narrow killing zone mitigated the French numerical advantage.

As for Japanese atrocities, the samurai were mainly interested in collecting heads after a battle to demonstrate their individual effectiveness. There was even a post-battle ceremony for displaying the heads to the commander. However, where the number of slain enemy made collecting heads impractical they settled for noses. Hideyoshi's invading army did send a "mountain of noses" back to Kyoto where they are still interred under a large mound. As for killing prisoners I doubt if any army of the period would have scrupled to do so. It's a long way to the Geneva Convention.

Motion picture liberties aside, I appreciated seeing the CGI depiction of naval warfare of the period. Prior to the advent of CGI massed naval battles could not be depicted.

Re: Fact and fiction in the movie

I only knew vaguely that this battle was part of a war that the Shogun Hideyoshi waged against Korea (and eventually China.) Interested in knowing more about this sea battle, I looked up information available online, but did not see much references. How important was this battle? In general, the Chinese played an important part in the fighting against the Japanese invaders. Alone Korea would have lost this war based on what I have read.

Re: Fact and fiction in the movie

I generally give films such as this a free pass when it comes to embellishing facts because I see it more as a story which is passed on through generations rather than being historically accurate. A story about a man who stood against a giant and each time it's told it gets more and more fantastical.

This is why I can't really fault 300 either. It's told as a story rather than from a history book and if I want to know more about the story so I know which parts have been embellished then I'll usually hit wikipedia and educate myself which is ultimately the goal of the film.

If Yi Sun-sin was shown as being some kind of Water Bender then I would have had a problem but I can forgive the director for wanting to turn the dial to 11 while still being grounded in factual events.
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