Kingdom: Ashin of the North Movie Review & Summary: The Hefty Price You Pay for Justice

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Video Source – Netflix (Netflix YouTube Channel)

This movie Kingdom: Ashin of the North is a brilliant spin-off of the critically acclaimed Kingdom series that was a rage on Netflix at the time of its release in 2020. To this day it holds the spot as the best zombie television series to come from Korea. This movie was executed amazingly and tells the story of Ashin and explains the origin of the undead. It is the prequel to the series but tells a different story about the protagonist Ashin and how the undead came to be due to her thirst for revenge. It explains the origins and synthesis of the resurrection plant and the mystery of Ashins identity. The film revolves around and goes in-depth on the character Ashin who was introduced at the end of the series. It portrays her life in which she discovers the plant’s powers, and some incidents that fuel her hunger for revenge leading her to ultimately use the plant for her revenge. This movie is a great watch while waiting for season 3.

Kingdom: Ashin of the North Movie Cast

  • Jun ji hyun as Ashin
  • Kim Si ah as young Ashin
  • Park byeong Eun as Min Chi rok
  • Koo kyo hwan as Gan Ai dan
  • Kim Ro ha as Ta ab (Ashin’s father)

Kingdom: Ashin of the North Movie Plot

This movie is based on the Joseon era and brings light on the issues of political affairs, the social hierarchy, and the variety of characters that gravitate towards the protagonist,  Lee Chang (Jun Ji hun). It Institute s enthralling cinematography and action scenes. The movie Kingdom Ashin of North goes back a decade in time before the Kingdom universe starts. Asin is a mixture of strength and fragility who is driven by sorrow and grief. She belonged to a family from the lowest class and lived on the border of Joseon and their counterparts the Jurcheon people. The Japanese invasion of the South has led to expanding of wars. The rising tension of the war worsens after many Jurcheon people go missing and are murdered in the forest. They rebel when Joseon spreads their propaganda to protect their power. Ashins border becomes the starting point of the brewing conflict.

The story progresses in which Ashin sees her faith in humanity slowly fading away due to a few tragic events. Following the disappearance of Ta ab her father after receiving an order from Joseon goes into the forest to find the purple reassured flower saesangcho, which she believes can miraculously bring back the dead with consequences. Min Chi rok, a chief government official, later defines a critical role in her development. After the fateful encounter, Ashin grows up fueled with grief and driven by dangerous weapons to avenge the Seongjiyan people. It is shown in the end after her revenge is over that it was she who was the cause of the beginning of the undead as her whole village had turned into zombies.

Kingdom: Ashin of the North Movie Review

Kingdom: Ashin of the North Movie Review

Despite the minimal dialogue Jun ji hun manages to deliver a range of emotions and Ashins mind through her eyes and expressions. The first quarter of the movie focuses mainly on emotions rather than conversation. It maintains a dark, suspended, and enigmatic story that is well put together. There is no character development and exaltation of conflict that is shown. The cast delivers their roles perfectly. Apart from the cinematography and art direction, the success of the movie lies in its story. The movie explores a variety of issues and is driven by human greed and grief. From topics like sexual harassment,  politics of propaganda, and ill-treatment of marginalized communities that live within the borders, we witness how Ashin’s villagers were blatantly ignored by both the Joseon government and the Pajeowi tribes, who were technically the same as theirs.

Despite being promised that their village would be recognized officially by Joseon,  her villagers keep on living with no affirmation, or lawlessness, and are not acknowledged for their identities as border villagers. Ashin’s character represents a victim who is trapped inside a cage by Joseon. She is forced into being an object of sexualization during her life in the all men territory and the object of propaganda. Rather than a hero, she can be seen as a villain or even an anti-hero of the kingdom universe. She just witnesses all the chaos and death she causes upon her vengeful deeds upon the kingdom universe. The writer does a good job to make her story grow for her audience. Writers also have holes in characters but it works. The cinematography is beautiful and the director explores different colors, themes, and grading. The movie has an overall cool tone with blues, blacks, violet, and dark brown mainly on screen.

The series also focuses on Joseon its haunting and coniferous forests, snowflakes, wide deserts, and depths of mankind through the eyes of villagers. The characters have different styles and fashion and fascinating makeup. The movie also hints at the character of Koo Kyo hwan (Gan Ai dan) who was the leader of the Pajeowi who plagues Ashins village. Kingdom: Ashin of the North overall plays the part of a revenge saga infested with zombies and action pretty well. It is rare to see a woman at the center of such a series too which adds a whole other refreshing layer to it. She is an interesting protagonist that might disgust you with her actions but you will understand that she has her motivations due to being the victim of the destructive system created by human greed and egocentrism.

The Movie Culture Synopsis

Kingdom: Ashin of the North opens up a lot of possibilities for the future of the series and other spin-offs involving any of the characters. It is a well-paced prequel that engages the emotional journey of Ashins revenge long before the waves of zombies haunt the world.

You should stream it even if you haven’t seen the series yet. But I would recommend watching the series first in order to truly immerse into this movie and actually understand and enjoy it even better. The movie is an epic that would satisfy action lovers and zombie enthusiasts alike. It is available on Netflix along with the series.

Author

  • Karen is pursuing BA in mass media and journalism and is aspiring to work in film industry. She like to explore new movies and series especially from other countries like in korean and japanese and learn about their culture through it. She likes drawing, reading and listening to music. Also open to try different genres but loves thrillers and comedy the most.