"Les Militaribles," a video parody of the movie "Les Misérables" produced by the Korean Air Force, is receiving much attention on YouTube. It attracted over 3 million hits as of Monday, six days after it was first uploaded on the video-sharing website.
The 13-minute video revolves around an airman called Jean Valjean, the same name as the lead character in Victor Hugo's classic novel. His girlfriend comes to visit him while he is tasked with clearing snow on a runway, but he has only a few minutes to see her. As they part, he says he will overcome his sadness "for spring will come at last."
The Korean Air Force spent W1 million (US$1=W1,091) in producing the video, which was designed for promotional purposes.
The New York Times wrote on Monday that Psy's "Gangnam Style" video has "inspired another [Korean] blockbuster." "The video... would appear to be the work of young men unhappy with their lot, serving in a hierarchical military" but it is in fact "a celebration of sorts of airmen's shared sacrifice during two years of service," it added.
The Wall Street Journal also ran a similar piece last week under the title, "[Korea's] Newest YouTube Sensation: Singing Airmen."