The film set is in South Korea. The film represents the life of a young man living in South Korea who commits suicide as the movie begins. The antagonist appeared to have suffered a mental breakdown for far too long in his life that led him to become suicidal. He makes mistakes and the results of his mistakes lead his life to a downward spiral. He may have let success get to his head as is normal with people of his age, he had a good business and a beautiful wife. Historically, in this position, men will always find a way of having affairs that lead to the breakdown of their families. For Yong-ho, the same happens. Yong-ho has a history of having an unstable lifestyle. He is a policeman who is driven into a dark place by his peers where he gets to torture a suspect despite his being reluctant. His character represents the things that were happening in South Korea at the time. During the time where the movie is set, the South Korean people had to deal with being under a tighter grip of the military leadership and subsequent decline in the strength of the South Korean economic strength.
The national character of Yong-ho represents a society that does not value the input of the women. This is seen in the way Yong-ho treats the women in his life. He does not value his wife Hong-Ja and despite his love for Sun-im, he still managed to mistreat her and treat her as if she did not matter to him. This he did in a bid to protect his masculinity and maintain a façade of strength. Culturally, his character was acting in accordance with the events that were taking place in Korea at the time. The men were expected to remain strong and unaffected by the brutality that was taking place around them. The military grip on South Korean society had many negative effects on people. The people who were forced into the military come out having lost their humanity. The life of Yong-ho was the best possible representation of the South Korean society and the effect the atrocities of the government to its people.
The production of the film was captivating. The flashback method keeps the audience interested in knowing the story of the antagonist. Yong-Ho commits suicide and not enough reasons are given earlier on in the movie. The rest of the movie explains why he commits suicide by flashing back into the events of his life. Through this method of filming and movie production. The development of the story and the level of production shows that the director took enough time to ensure that the flow of the story is relatable and relevant to the events taking place in the world today. The sequencing is well timed and shows that the director was well connected to the events that take place in his and the modernity of the society at the time. His way of relating the film to contemporary times is impeccable and makes the film timeless.
The political ideologies that the film bring out the point to the atrocities the military rule in South Korea brought to the people. the people of South Korea, in particular, the men were driven to the wall by the things the military made them do, their challenge in fitting back into the society after being in the military and their failure to protect their families, jobs and dignity. Yong-ho seems to have gradually lost everything by the time he was contemplating suicide. His time in the military took him away from his family and because disconnected and when he got back, he could no longer live well with his wife. He also had a challenge connecting with his friends, some of whom he blamed for getting him enrolled in the military against his wish. He was an illustration of a young man who was constantly dissatisfied by his lifestyle. He loses his job at some point and has nobody to turn to. This is because, during his days in employment, he was an active member of torturing the activists of the labour movements in society. Additionally, after he left law enforcement, he started a business which was successful until suddenly, he ran bankrupt and had no place to turn back to. His actions led to his misfortunes which then led him to commit suicide.
Yong-ho, by the time he got to commit suicide, had fallen victim to the political instability of South Korean, the failed economy of the country and ultimately, the failed family unit. By the time he committed suicide, he had no family because he neglected his wife, he had no money to survive on and ultimately, he had no friends to relate with. He had destroyed his life by responding to the forces of society. Largely, his death was his fault but the society of South Korea at the time had played a big role in his downfall. The director of the film brings the perspective back to life in a big way and ultimately, he is able to help the audience connect with the events in the film easily.
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