Story by: Daniel Joseph Vorderstrasse, Photos by:
In what is remembered as the most entertaining and historic matchup in Korean professional sports history, this is a wonderful retelling of the intriguing story that is littered with emotion and drama. Director Park Hee-gon (Insadong Scandal, a great movie in itself) recreates the essence of sport in a telling fashion.
May 16, 1987 is a day that lives in Korean baseball history. On this epic day, two rival pitchers — Lotte Giants’ Choi Dong-won (Cho Seung-woo) and Haitai Tigers’ Sun Dong-ryul (Yang Dong-geun) — go toe-to-toe on the mound, seeking to solve a furious debate: Who is the best pitcher in the country?
The Perfect Game encompasses a 15-inning, nearly five hour affair. It turns out to be as-advertised — truly a struggle of giants. Previously restricted from the contest by their respective teams that had worried about the pressure cast upon each pitcher, the teams square off to solve the burning question.
Dong-won suffers from past shoulder problems, while Dong-ryul strives to emerge from his predecessor’s shadow as the game’s best pitcher. Virtually unheard of in contemporary times, both pitchers remain on the mound for the game’s duration.
Will the legendary Choi Dong-won out-battle rising phenom Sun Dong-ryul in their final game that will certainly to be enshrined as a legendary tale? The first half of the film creates an anxious atmosphere as the game approaches, nearly paralleling the tension involved in a war epic and portraying eager bystanders as manic fans of their franchises.
Certain melodrama distracts from the main battle, but nonetheless a satisfying depiction of the sporting world’s dynamic influence is served to the audience for your utter enjoyment. I highly recommend this film.