Memories of the Sword (2015)

Memories of the Sword (2015) is a South Korean martial arts period drama film that was co-written and directed by Park Heung-shik. The film stars Jeon Do-yeon, Lee Byung-hun and Kim Go-eun. Memories of the Sword (2015), much like a Chinese wuxia film, is rich in period detail and has stunning visuals, but the film centers more around the emotional states of the three main characters who appear rather flat. Sold as an action film, Memories of the Sword (2015) uses more wire work than choreographed fighting, and the fight choreography that exists does not meet up to the action expectations that clips and trailers built.

Memories of the Sword (2015) is a story about three swordsmen, Poong-cheon (Soo-bin Bae), Seol-rang (Do-yeon Jeon), and Deok-gi (Byung-hun Lee), who led an uprising against during the Goryeo era. When they are on the verge of fulfilling their quest for freedom and justice, Deok-gi betrays them and this leads to the death of Poong-cheon. Seol-rang disappears with Poong-cheon’s infant daughter, Hong-ee (Go-eun Kim). As Seol-rang is leaving, Deok-gi yells after her saying “You, no, not just you, but you and I both will be killed by Hong-ee.”

After eighteen years, Seol-rang , now called Wallso, is a blind woman who manages a tea house with her two children at Byukran port. Determined to take revenge on Deok-gi, Wallso teaches Hong-ee to become a master of the sword, but Hong-ee, now known as Seol-hee, is much more interested her daily life than she is concerned about what happened to her father so long ago.

One day the powerful military ruler, Deok-gi, now known as Yoo-baek, holds a well attended sword match in the market. Seol-hee participates in the match, despite Wallso’s objections. Eventually, as the match progresses, Seol-hee fights Yull, the master of the sword.

Watching Seol-hee and Yull fight, Yoo-baek realizes that competitor, Seol-hee, has similar skills to his once loved friend, Seol-rang. Yoo-baek orders his guards to catch Seol-hee, but she is able to escape. That same night it is revealed to Seol-hee just how her father, Poong-cheon, died. Wallso tells her that there are two enemies that Seol-hee is destined to defeat, Yoo-baek, and Wallso herself. Shocked by what she has learned and by what she is being forced to do, Seol-hee leaves home only to begin her long journey of revenge.

The film opened in South Korea on August 13, 2015 and in the United States on August 28, 2015.