25th Far East Film Festival: “Rebound” Review

Busan’s Jungang High School basketball team is in disarray and about to come to a stop until a new coach, Kang Yang-hyeon (Ahn Jae-hong: Time to Hunt, Fabricated City) is brought in to turn the team around. Jang Hang-jun’s new film, Rebound, not only follows Kang’s journey but also of his protégés: Bae Gyoo-hyeok (Jeong Jin-woon: Dream High 2), Jung Kang-ho (Jung Gun-joo: Three Bold Siblings), Jung Jin-wook (Ahn Ji-ho: The House of Us), Hong Soon-gyu (Kim Taek: The King’s Affection), Cheon Ki-beom (Lee Shin-young: Dr. Romantic 3) and Heo Jae-yoon (Kim Min) make up the team, and the film follows as they train and compete under the school’s banners, and overcoming challenges as a team along the way. Rebound also delves into the personal lives of the players, exploring their relationships with their family, friends and each other.

The basketball team has had a history of losing and now lacks motivation. Kang, who has a troubled past himself, is determined to make the team to be the best of the best, even if it’s only done with seven players, which later becomes six. The coach slowly inspires the group of high schoolers to believe in themselves and work hard towards their goals. Although often bickering, Kang encourages them to have hope, dream big, and be resilient in the face of various challenges. The players start to bond and trust each other, and the newfound confidence leads to a string of impressive victories on the court. However, the team’s progress is threatened by internal conflicts and external pressure, until they decide to sign up for Nationals with the dream of getting to the finals. With a small team, and only one substitute, they head off to take on an impossible task.

Based on a true story from 2012, Jang Hang-jun’s portrayal of the sport and the aforementioned characters is superb. The film features intense, well-choreographed matches that capture the excitement and energy of the game. The film’s director also explores themes such as teamwork, perseverance, and the power of mentorship. The emotional elements in the film are well-constructed and incorporated in Kim Eun-hee’s script. The strong performances by Ahn Jae-hong, Jeong Ji-woon, Lee Shin-young, Jung Gun-joo, Jung Kang-ho, Ahn Ji-ho, Kim Taek and Kim Min also brought emotional depth to their characters while giving, at the same time, the feeling of realism in an already engaging storyline.

The cinematography in Rebound plays an important role in creating the mood and atmosphere of the story; it uses great angles to bring the audience into the world of the basketball team. For example, during matches the camera is often positioned on the court, giving viewers a sense of intensity and an understanding of the physicality of the sport. The use of colour is also significant in the film. Rebound has a bright and vibrant colour palette that adds to the energy and excitement of the game itself, and, at the same time, the film also uses darker, more muted colours to convey the challenges and struggles of the team at different points of the film. While the editing has a few hiccups here and there, the film does not lose its momentum when it comes to the sports drama’s more intensive scenes.

Rebound is a heartwarming and uplifting story of hope, dreams, and resilience that will inspire viewers of all ages. It showcases the transformative power of sport and the importance of never giving up on your dream, no matter how daunting the challenges may seem.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Written by Maggie Gogler

View of the Arts is a British online publication that chiefly deals with films, music, and art, with an emphasis on the Asian entertainment industry. We are hoping our audience will grow with us as we begin to explore new platforms such as K-pop / K-music, and Asian music in general, and continue to dive into the talented and ever-growing scene of film, music, and arts, worldwide.

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