On a day trip through the countryside, aspiring opera singer In-jeong flees to the woods to escape the advances of her lecherous professor and mentor, Yeong-sun. When a seemingly harmless ... See full summary »
On a day trip through the countryside, aspiring opera singer In-jeong flees to the woods to escape the advances of her lecherous professor and mentor, Yeong-sun. When a seemingly harmless local man offers her a ride to the bus station, In-jeong thinks she's been saved - until he insists that they stop to meet his friends, a disturbed group of country-bred thugs. In-jeong finds herself reunited with Yeong-sun and it slowly becomes clear that the pair is being held captive to participate in the gang's sadistic mind games. This film examines the power struggles that exist even at the lowest rung of society. Written by
a hard movie with hard topics - mainly the bullying aspect of Korean society
"Director Won takes a refreshingly different approach to what could have been a standard tale of city folks menaced by crazy bumpkins, mainly in that he serves up an off-key set of characters, none of whom really fit into the traditional roles viewers are used to. The film does not feature an obvious protagonist, or even an anti-hero, and although some of the characters are more vicious than others, it gradually becomes clear that all are victims in one way or another. Despite this, the characters are well drawn, and the viewer learns about them through a series of revelations which unfold in a surprising, though believable manner.
None of the relationships in the film are straightforward, with some of them emerging as being very twisted, and through this, Won ventures into some fairly complex moral territory, and explores the effects of institutions such as the army. The film is chiefly concerned with themes of bullying, which it actually deals with in quite a subtle manner and on several levels, dealing with both the aggressors and victims in a fluid way which eschews stereotyping or easy answers. The lines between right and wrong are not so much blurred as thrown out of the window, as the characters gradually become more and more animalistic, yet at the same time, somehow more human, giving the proceedings an almost tragic feel."
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