When people died, they will enter the afterlife and stand 7 trials for murder, indolence, deceit, injustice, betrayal, violence and filial piety over 49 days. Only those who can clear all 7 trials will be reincarnated and start a new life. If not, they will be punished in the afterlife. This is the story layout of the Korean movie “Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds”. Firefighter Kim Ja-hong, died in the line of duty, was escorted to the afterlife by 3 guardians. As a hard working firefighter when he was alive, Ja-hong was regarded as a paragon – the chosen one who had potential to pass the 7 trials. The movie wisely applies the legal system in the real world to the afterlife. His 3 guardians would defend him in each trial, in return, they would also get their reincarnation after they served 49 paragons, Ja-hong was the 48th. Why not 49th, the last one? I’ll tell you later.
So the journey in afterlife began and the trials started. The truth of Ja-hong’s life was also revealed – layer by layer through each trail. He was accused of leaving his colleague in a burning building, working only for money, writing fake letters to his dead colleague’s daughter, and beating his younger brother. Worst, he once planned to kill his mute mother. Behind each of this was a touching story that would cause you heartache. Be prepared, most of the audiences were sobbing by the end of the movie. To further complicate matters, Ja-hong’s trials was interfered by the death of his younger brother in the living world who became a vengeful spirit. Although I don’t quite understand the logic, this brought lots of amazing actions and special effects to the film. I mentioned before in Train to Busan that the special effects of Korean movies are closed to Hollywood and “Along With the Gods” raises the bar again – the visual effects in afterlife and the living world are top-notch.
“Along With the Gods” is a combination of fantasy, thriller, action and drama. All the chemicals work fine, it’s fun and also a tear-jerker. It will stay in your mind and you will feel like experiencing the trials together with Ja-hong. The leading roles of the movie are actually the 3 guardians instead of Ja-hong, each of them has a unique character, especially the little female guardian (Kim Hyang-gi) – she looks so cute. The only critic is the subplot of Ja-hong’s younger brother in the living world is unnecessary long and it will be much touching if Ja-hong appears in his mom’s dream at the end instead of his brother. So why Ja-hong is the 48th paragon? Because his younger brother is the 49th paragon and the 3 guardians will defend him in the upcoming trials. Part 2 of the movie, “Along With the Gods: The Last 49 Days”, will be released later this year.