I’ve to confess, though I’m an enormous fan of Kim Ki-duk’s movies, his newest efforts haven’t glad me in any respect. After the difficulty he had with “Moebius,” he has toned down, to the purpose that his movies have misplaced the surprising factor that made them so particular. “The Web,” nevertheless, looks like an effort to return to his roots, though not totally realized.
“The Web” is screening at Vesoul International Film Festival of Asian Cinema
The web of Chul-woo, a poor North Korean fisherman, is caught within the engine of his boat, and by accident, he drifts into South Korea. The authorities arrest him and begin interrogating him brutally, as they additionally attempt to make him defect. His state of affairs is worsened by his important interrogator, who appears to harbor an intense hatred for North Koreans. Alternatively, a youthful agent named Jin-woo, who’s assigned to him, is way kinder, and even helps him together with his state of affairs.
Kim Ki-duk offers with the difficulty of the 2 Koreas, as he presents the best way the 2 nations cope with their folks, which, because the story progresses, doesn’t appear so completely different. The symbolism of the fisherman and his internet is sort of apparent, because it signifies how individuals are caught within the internet of their authorities’s techniques, not with the ability to get out, irrespective of how laborious they struggle, similar to the fish who get caught within the internet. This remark extends to the idea of the residing requirements, and even supposing Kim eloquently depicts the variations between the South and the North, via a phrase Jin-woo utters, “Freedom can’t assure happiness.”
A further level regards the hypocrisy of the authorities of each nations. S. Korean have adopted a seemingly extra reserved stance, as a result of civil rights protesters, however are at all times desperate to neglect it when one is suspected of being a spy. The information that the Interrogator, whose predilection for violence in opposition to N. Koreans is understood, and the techniques they use to make him abolish the N. Korean regime, are distinct samples of this tendency. Alternatively, the hypocrisy of the North is introduced via the fixed patriotic acts and procedures, which all people is aware of are only for present however proceed to comply with them, at the least to the purpose that serves them.
The principle a part of the film focuses on his interrogation, and his total therapy by the S. Korean authorities, as Kim makes use of guy-bad man strategy to spotlight the state of affairs Chul-woo is in, the hopelessness of which is eloquently depicted by the primary sentence his interrogator utters, “Write down all the things it occurred for the reason that day you had been born”. The “dangerous” interrogator is without doubt one of the most tragic figures within the movie, significantly because of the reasoning for his behaviour and the conclusion of his dealings with Chul-woo. Alternatively, Jin-woo’s behaviour will not be justified in any respect, excluding some reminiscences of his North Korean grandfather, which aren’t sufficient, in any means, as reasoning for him placing his life and profession on jeopardy for a person he doesn’t know. My take is that Kim needed to current a optimistic factor for S. Korea, and that is the aim this character serves. The identical, although, applies to the opposite aspect, with the troopers within the guard submit earlier than the place Chul-woo fishes being sympathetic of his state of affairs, even regardless of their orders.
One other difficulty with the movie is that Kim’s level, significantly relating to the S. Korea aspect is demonstrated fairly early, and the movie lags a bit, earlier than the transition to the opposite aspect. Some glimpses of his early fashion are nonetheless seen, as with the surprising and virtually utterly out-of-place humor, with the posters in N. Korea, the response of his daughter to her mother and father having intercourse proper subsequent to her and with Chul-woo’s effort to maintain his eyes closed in his journey to an city setting in S.Korea. The presence of a prostitute additionally strikes in the direction of the identical route. Nonetheless, the truth that Kim has turned away from the violence that used to permeate his movies turns into slightly apparent in two violent sequences through the interrogation, each of which occur behind closed drapes, with solely their final result turning into seen.
Kim Ki-duk’s personal cinematography presents some photographs of maximum magnificence, within the scenes the place Chul-woo is in his boat, whereas the sense of claustrophobia of the 2 interrogation premises is communicated fairly effectively.
Ryoo Seung-beom is nice as Cheul-woo, as he manages to current many alternative statuses, from happiness to despair, from dedication to abandonment. The truth that he presents Kim’s refined humor at a variety of scenes is without doubt one of the highlights of his efficiency. Kim Yeong-min is equally good as he exemplifies the Interogator’s sinister however unhappy persona. Lee Received-geun because the “good cop” can be good, together with his physique serving to him current an unjustifiably good character.
“The Web” had all of the potential to change into a masterpiece, with the script, appearing, and cinematography being on a really excessive degree. Nonetheless, some points with the enhancing that make the movie final for too lengthy and Kim Ki-duk’s just lately discovered restrain stop it. Positively deserves a watch although, since its feedback and their presentation are fairly fascinating.