Oldboy Ending explains: Be it a rock or a grain of sand, in water they sink equally


Park Chan-wook’s “Oldboy” is a movie that goes to some unsettling places. We’re not just talking about the famous scene where protagonist Oh Dae-su (Choi Min-sik) bites the head of a live octopus and wraps it alive with a towel, its tentacles still wiggling and wrapping around its nose. and his hand. It’s a movie moment rooted in the true culinary tradition of san-nakji, a Korean dish that usually consists of chopped pieces of octopus, served with sesame oil on a plate. They’re just contorted because their nerves are still active, but watching “Oldboy” viewers can start to squirm along with them and see their nerves go against their composure.

The ending to “Oldboy” makes some of the earlier scenes even more frustrating to watch in retrospect, as it relates to what we know about Oh Dae-su and Mi-do (Kang Hye-jung), the first The sushi chef served him that octopus and took an instant liking to him – to the point that she brought him back to her apartment after he collapsed at her restaurant counter. Adapted from a manga series by a group of Japanese writers and artists including Garon Tsuchiya and Nobuaki Minegishi, “Oldboy” is the middle chapter of Park’s themed series. “Revenge trio,” begins with “Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance” and ends with “Lady Vengeance.” This is notably an entry are not highlight the word “revenge” in the title.

Revenge is undoubtedly a driving force in the plot of “Oldboy”, as Oh Dae-su and Mi-do set out to find the person responsible for imprisoning him in a hotel room for 15 years, with a relationship his only contact with the outside world. a doggie door for meal delivery. However, the ending, which we will discuss here fully damagedFocus more on living with your own wrongs instead of needlessly taking revenge on those who have wronged you.

‘Too much wrong’


Before he escapes from his hotel cell, goes on a dumpling tasting tour, and picks up a hammer for an impactful, one-of-a-kind lobby fight, Oh Dae-su is left to He racked his brains to see who could bring him a grudge big enough to keep him locked up for so long. He makes a list of all the people he’s ever offended – and it’s longer than he thought. “It was both a prison diary and an autobiography of my bad deeds,” he said. “I thought I was living a normal life, but there was so much wrong doing.”

This invites viewers to examine their own lives, as Oh Dae-su is the main character and we are trained to identify with him. “Oldboy” alludes to Oh Dae-su’s promiscuity and shows him as a bad father who missed his daughter’s birthday and was arrested for drunkenness and disorderly behavior. On the surface, this pales in comparison to the guilt of his captor, who is revealed to be Lee Woo-jin (Yoo Ji-tae), a wealthy man with personal ties against him. but back when they were in high school. and Oh Dae-su witnessed Lee Woo-jin commit incest with his sister.

Incest is a difficult subject, but while it may add to the overall shock effect of “Oldboy,” it serves the purpose of narrative that is taboo across cultures. This allows Park to use it as a sort of general indication that something is wrong, insofar as it is socially unacceptable, if not completely illegal, and can lead to disorder. genetic. It is associated with a stigma towards Lee Woo-jin, who also staged the murder of Oh Dae-su’s wife and framed him for it. However, the ending turned the tide and showed that Oh Dae-su had also unwittingly committed incest.

‘Unforgivable Sin’


“Oldboy” offers the quote, “Be it a rock or a grain of sand, they are equally submerged in water”, which suggests that, in the film’s setting, a form of sin is like a another form of sin in its power. condemn. By detaining Oh Dae-su long enough for his stepdaughter Mi-do to grow up, and then programming them to attract each other with a post-hypnotic cue, Lee Woo-jin forces Oh Dae -su has to walk a mile in his shoes. Now, Oh Dae-su also bears the shame of incest, and any judgment he can make against Lee Woo-jin is a judgment against himself.

It was a way of making Oh Dae-su think about the hypocrisy of human nature: everyone is too quick to find fault in others while turning a blind eye to their own. The terrible knowledge of her wrongdoing – and the fear that Mi-do might discover her, also being an unwitting party to incest – causes Oh Dae-su to humble himself and really, intense repentance, ready to humble himself before Lee Woo-jin. feet and begged for mercy. He admitted, “I committed an unforgivable sin with your sister. And I did you wrong too.”

Oh Dae-su could not have known the impact of his words back in school, that his loose lips and the little bit of simple gossip they uttered would destroy his sister’s life. Lee Woo-jin, causing her to commit suicide. In fact, Oh Dae-su doesn’t even remember her or Lee Woo-jin on his original list of people he mistreated. That doesn’t change the fact that she became a victim of his carelessness, like he caused someone’s accidental death. From Lee Woo-jin’s point of view, his sister’s death was as unjust as the severity of Oh Dae-su’s punishment.

Oh Dae-Su Rex


Both Oh Dae-su and Lee Woo-jin are motivated by a desire for revenge, and after he commits his act, Lee Woo-jin has nothing left to live for. For his part, Oh Dae-su is still torn between threats of revenge and a grudge so strong that he had to cut his own tongue so it would never wave again.

This utopian act is one of several that ties “Oldboy” to Greek tragedy, namely, Sophocles playing “Oedipus Rex” or “Oedipus the King”, in which the king of Thebes cuts his own eye after I know that I was unknowingly married. his mother after killing his father in fulfillment of a prophecy. While filming “Thirst,” his vampire movie about a Catholic priest, Park gave an interview (via Ikonen) where he said he “named Oh Dae-su in ‘Oldboy’ to remind viewers of Oedipus.” He described Lee Woo-jin as a “god-like figure” and explained that the yoga pose he did was meant to convey the image of the Greek god Apollo.

Lee Woo-jin calls himself “Oh-Dae-su-ologist”, an expert on Oh Dae-su, and by seeing and hearing with surveillance images and eavesdropping devices, he can see all and know all far. The hypnotist also has near-divine powers in that she can make two people fall in love like the goddess Aphrodite, while Mi-do can be thought of as corresponding to Antigone, daughter of Oedipus, who remains steadfast support her. his.

There is no film school commented in the “Oldboy” discussion that Greek tragedy revolved around cause and effect, a unity of action where one led to another. Like Oedipus, Oh-Dae-su learns the hard way that actions, even those in the distant past, have consequences.

‘Life in a Bigger Prison’


Intentionally or not, “Oldboy” also presents a very Catholic guilt, which is suitable for nurture religion, and one can see in it the continuity of the idea of ​​original sin and non-judgmentalism: removing the spark in one’s own eye from the speck in another’s, according to the Sermon on the Mount of the Lord Jesus Christ. When Lee Woo-jin turned his back, Oh Dae-su tried to retaliate one last time by activating a control that was supposed to shut down Lee Woo-jin’s pacemaker, but this act of revenge only increased add his own guilt – literally – when a loudspeaker plays a recording of him and Mi-do making love.

Before committing suicide, Lee Woo-jin gave Oh Dae-su a second chance at life with Mi-do with the farewell, “My sister and I already know everything but still love each other. You two can do you do that?” Previously, he described the world outside Oh Dae-su’s hotel cell as “life in a larger prison”, and that is the world we all live in.

The real question is whether Oh Dae-su can get over his guilt and enjoy some kind of happy ending with Mi-do. He started a rumor that it was snowing, but the white color of the final snow scene in “Oldboy” hints at the idea of ​​a blank slate. “Even though I’m no more than an animal,” Oh Dae-su asked eloquently, “don’t I have a right to live?”

He asks the hypnotist to redo a number on his head, this time dividing his psyche into two, only half of his monstrous nature being conscious of the secret of incest. Park is open to explaining whether hypnosis really works when Mi-do repeats her love for Oh Dae-su, and he smiles, then grimaces.

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https://www.slashfilm.com/947598/oldboy-ending-explained-be-it-a-rock-or-a-grain-of-sand-in-water-they-sink-as-the-same/ Oldboy Ending explains: Be it a rock or a grain of sand, in water they sink equally

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