Waikiki Brothers

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Waikiki Brothers
Waikiki Brothers movie poster.jpg
Waikiki Brothers film poster
Revised Romanization Waikiki beuradeoseu
McCune–Reischauer Waik‘ik‘i pŭratŏsŭ
Directed by Yim Soon-rye
Produced by Lee Eun
Shin Jae-myung
Written by Yim Soon-rye
Starring Lee Eol
Park Won-sang
Hwang Jung-min
Music by Choi Sun-sik
Cinematography Choi Gi-yeol
Edited by Kim Sang-bum
Release date
  • October 27, 2001 (2001-10-27)
Running time
109 minutes
Country South Korea
Language Korean

Waikiki Brothers is a 2001 South Korean film, set in the 1980s, about a group of high school friends who form a band. It was the opening film of the 2001 Jeonju International Film Festival.[1]


Waikiki Brothers is a band going nowhere. After another depressing gig, the saxophonist quits, leaving the three remaining members - lead singer and guitarist Sung-woo (Lee Eol), keyboardist Jung-seok (Park Won-sang), and drummer Kang-soo (Hwang Jung-min), to continue on the road. The band ends up at Sung-woo's hometown, Suanbo, which was a popular hot spring resort in the '80s. The main resort now is the Waikiki Hotel, and their gig at the hotel nightclub starts well, until Jung-seok and Kang-soo start to play out their worst vices. For Sung-woo, the calm center of the band, the return home is filled with reservations of disappointments and a lost love. He reunites with his old high school friends, the original Waikiki Brothers, and finds them far from happy. He runs into In-hee (Oh Ji-hye), his unrequited first love. Now widowed, she seems desperate to try their relationship again. Sung-woo also runs into his old music teacher, Byung-joo, and tries to help him get work. But the band is fired from the nightclub and Sung-woo is forced to perform in karaoke bars. And, then, tragedy strikes when his high school classmate Soo-chul dies in an accident.


Critical reception[edit]

Cine21 film critic Shim Young-seop said, "You can see how much (director) Im feels attached to the world. Though the characters are deceived by reality, they cannot hate the world; they still love it. Small-budgeted but artistic films such as Waikiki Brothers, films that depict modern ordinary Koreans as they truly are, those are the best movies and the most authentically Korean."[2][3][4]


In 2004, it inspired a musical titled Go! Waikiki Brothers starring North Korean defector Kim Young-un,[5] which also performed in Los Angeles in 2006.[6]


  1. ^ "Jeonju to Host Offbeat Film Fest". The Chosun Ilbo. 22 April 2001. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  2. ^ Chun, Su-jin (30 November 2001). "Critically Speaking". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  3. ^ Chun, Su-jin (20 January 2002). "Subtitles, anyone?". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  4. ^ Chun, Su-jin (13 August 2002). "Elvis never knew a Hawaii this blue". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  5. ^ http://times.hankooki.com/lpage/culture/200601/kt2006010117314111700.htm
  6. ^ Park, Sung-ha (12 February 2006). "What's the next step for musical producers? Unite". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 

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