Nonetheless, later on the director tries to stretch the plot into a Forrest Gump-style epic, striving for a unity at the end which, in all honesty, feels forced.
Echoes of My Sassy Girl are to be seen everywhere in this film, from the casting of minor characters (the old man under the tree, Jeon Ji-hyun's parents, etc.) to the music (Pachelbel's Canon in D) to various backdrops (trains, lots of rain).
I hope to see more political thrillers like Double Agent in the future, not necessarily about North-South relations, but about all aspects of the recent history of the Korean peninsula.
Ju-hee, on a visit from Suwon, becomes acquainted with a boy her age named Jun-ha (Cho Seung-woo) who takes her downriver to a crumbling 'haunted' house.
On their way back they lose their boat and are caught up in a rain shower, so that they return very late and Ju-hee is sent back to Suwon by her angry parents.
The film explores this theme through its focus on one tough operative caught between two "fatherlands," which merely see him as a pawn in the grand game of chess, expendable and readily replaceable. He withstands the torture and gains trust of the South Korean spooks.
He hides his true loyalties, resists assimilation into the capitalist and pleasure-seeking South Korean culture.