Last night, I went to see Bring the Soul. I had no real intention of seeing the movie when I saw the trailer on the Bangtan channel because I honestly didn’t think I would find time in my week where it wouldn’t interfere with my other responsibilities. However, Facebook is a tricky minx and she put the ad for the movie right on my timeline at just the perfect moment and my vulnerable ARMY heart caved and bought tickets.
The movie theater was mostly empty which wasn’t a surprise. I didn’t expect there to be many people going to see a BTS documentary in central Florida on a Thursday, especially when they released the movie in so many theaters. Since I went to my local, rinky-dink theater, I knew it would a quiet, nearly empty screening.
That said, the ARMYs that were there were super respectful and excited. While most of us were wearing BTS gear, there were only a few girls who were all out in head-to-toe BT21 and BTS merch. To be honest, I was glad. I can’t speak for other theaters, but at mine at least, we were being chill.
Within the first thirty seconds of the movie, we had Hoseok talking about a hot dog that made his stomach upset and Jin idly wondering if he should have had a hot dog earlier since their upcoming feast wasn’t ready yet. It was a hilarious way to start off everything and a nice reminder that Bangtan is and always will be a bunch of fools.
It was funny too because the editing of the movie was so different from what we’re used to with Bon Voyage and Run episodes. It seems like over the years, their editing team has just accepted that regardless of what they do, they are never going to take themselves all that seriously and they’ve leaned into it. With the movie, though, you could tell they were making a concerted attempt to make it really serious. Which would’ve been way more effective had they not opened their mouths. Or moved their bodies.
Joking aside, I loved the way this movie portrayed the highs and lows of touring for the boys. It can be easy for us to only see how terrible it can be to work that hard day in and day out or to only focus on the fact that they’ve been on break for too long and I think this movie helped us see that it is a fine line to toe between doing what’s best for us and what’s best for BTS.
Namjoon explained it perfectly. In a moment heading back from a concert venue, he talks about his friend who’s doing his mandatory service in the military (the caption said he was with the police but I’m assuming that’s what they meant) for the past year and how he’d been with his girlfriend for three years. He uses it as a parallel to describe the relationship between them and the fans; while it can difficult for them to go on stage every night and perform for two hours, he argues it is also hard for the fans to cheer with constant enthusiasm for those two hours.
There were other moments that stood out to me as well that really speak to how much the boys legitimately love their job. There’s one moment where Jungkook breaks down because his voice cracked during their performance in Seoul. Later, he gets a cut on the back of his foot and is told he has to go to the doctor and may not be back in time to perform (and makes it happen anyway). Finally, in their last days of performance, Taehyung catches a bad cold and can’t sing to his full capacity. He starts crying on stage at the end of the show and is comforted by Jimin backstage before bouncing back several hours later.
It was fascinating to see them on the edge of exhaustion so often but still never complain about wanting to stop doing what they’re doing. Even in their moments of total weakness, they still don’t lose their appreciation for where they are and their love for their career. There’s a couple instances of this with Namjoon. Once, after a show, he tells the cameraman how hard it is to keep himself from counting down the shows left until the end of the tour. He says he doesn’t like to put himself in that mindset, even though it can be so tempting when he’s tired. Then, another time, on their private jet from the US to Europe he mentions how flying is the worst and quickly corrects himself, saying that there are many things that are much worse in the world.
Overall, I think the movie’s purpose wasn’t to tell us not to worry or to tell us that it’s all good and they’re fine and I really liked that. It was more honest than I think a lot of these types of documentaries can be and that was a really refreshing thing to see.
It was also nice that it didn’t try to shy away from the boys’ natural personalities, like letting Namjoon soliloquize about his thoughts and showing Jin snuggling with RJ every time they got on a plane and mentioning that Tae was late to dinner in Pari because he’d gone to an art museum. For the first couple of years of their career, they worked so hard at compartmentalizing them into these personas until they realized that we’d much rather see the real them.
Did I love this movie? Absolutely. I went in expecting what I normally see from a tour DVD or a summer package and I got something truly special. I felt that old wistfulness and pang in my chest that I felt the moment the Newark show ended during Wings Tour and I had to walk outside with my friends and try to live life in the “after” of seeing BTS.
If you’re an old ARMY and you miss the good old days of Red Bullet Tour and you want to see just how far our boys have come, go see this movie. If you’re a new ARMY and you want to see into the lives of the boys when they’re working, go see this movie. If you want to see a movie about really wonderful people doing something extraordinary, go see this movie.
There was a point in the movie where they interviewed ARMYs outside the Citi Field stadium to ask them about why they loved BTS, and this one girl said that she had found them at a really hard time in her life and they helped her understand that she was not alone and honestly? I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Have you seen Bring the Soul? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments!