In May 1980, German reporter Peter (Thomas Kretschmann) works on an assignment in Tokyo, but the news is slow there. He hears from a colleague that something ominous is occurring in Gwangju, South Korea. The phone lines have been completely cut off to the city. Peter decides to go there.
In Seoul, South Korea, Kim Man-Seob (Song Kang-Ho) struggles to make ends meet as a taxi driver, while also taking care of his daughter. He needs money to pay his rent. At a restaurant, Kim Man-Seob overhears that a foreigner is offering to pay a lot of money to be driven to Gwangju. The drive would cover Kim Man-Seob’s rent. He dashes out of the restaurant to pick up the foreigner.
Soon, Peter and Kim Man-Seob head for Gwangju from Seoul. They don’t know what is going on there or the countless lives that will soon be lost.
This film shows the underline brutality inflicted on the people of Gwangju where the highly trained military troops firing the bullets to their own people instead of protecting them. It impressed me the moment when Kim Man-Seob struggled to follow his conscience or not, further, the breathless escape which packed with a bang shouldn’t be missed.
Without a second thought, Taxi Driver is one of the best South Korean films I have seen to date. From the narration, presentation, and execution, everything is almost perfect. Thanks to Kim Man-Seob (Song Kang-Ho) who connects our emotions through his versatility as the film progresses. And of course, bravo to the rest of the supporting cast, who spices the story into a more memorable experience.