Often known as the nation’s sweetheart, Lee Ji-eun (Ji-eun), also called IU, made her movie debut on Netflix in the movie anthology entitled “PERSONA”. The anthology consists of four films directed by 4 totally different administrators, with every director highlighting a certain facet of Ji-eun with a purpose to give prominence to points prevalent in our society.
The primary film, “Love Set”,revolves round the theme of energy amongst ladies. In this movie, Ji-eun plays the position of a younger daughter — named IU — who is towards the marriage between her father and his fiancee (Bae Doona), who can also be her English instructor. Doona challenges IU to a tennis match, stating that if IU wins, the marriage can be referred to as off, and if Doona wins, IU should settle for the incontrovertible fact that the marriage will happen.
Director Lee Kyoung-Mi’s works are sometimes psychological thrillers. “Love Set” deviates from that genre, and as an alternative explores the feelings of the two ladies. That is achieved via the underlying sexual rigidity between IU and Doona, which pushes this film closer to erotica. There are a collection of close up photographs throughout the tennis match. These consist of photographs of the two ladies’s flushed skins and the swishing of their skirts. There was no sound throughout the match aside from the grunts that sound virtually sexual from both ladies,
At the end Doona is seen caressing IU’s thumb when shaking her hand, implying that two might have a deeper connection even earlier than Doona began seeing IU’s father. Such a match was fairly uncomfortable to observe, and it was complicated as there was little to no concentrate on the stakes set for the match. In reality, the males in this film develop into irrelevant all through the whole match.
This ties in with the theme of the movie: energy amongst ladies. Versus preventing for IU’s father’s love, the ladies are literally preventing for dominance over the different. No glances have been spared to the two males sitting on the bench, and even the feedback made by the father have been simply discarded as it held no weight or which means to the general story. At the finish of the film, regardless of the incontrovertible fact that Doona had gained she provides IU the win, suggesting that she provides up the energy she has over IU. In response, IU is dissatisfied and is seen to start out a brand new match with Doona, concluding “Love Set”.
Putting “Love Set” as the opening to “PERSONA” has its execs and cons. On one hand, it piques the viewers’s interest as to what the other three movies can be like and its comedic moments does set a light-hearted environment. Nevertheless, as a result of the complexity and confusion that comes with the tennis match, it has a excessive probability of pushing aside the viewers from watching the remaining movies. It creates the concept that the rest of the movies shall be simply as complicated and bizarre as “Love Set” and people who are uninterested might not need to keep it up with the collection.
In “Collector”, Ji-eun plays a sultry seductress named Eun who simply needs to be free and have fun. It’s revealed at the finish that she collects the hearts of men and topic them to a life of misery. “Collector” was directed by Yim Pil-Sung (Yim), and he focuses on horror and fantasy, where his works are sometimes a retelling of fairytales or folktales. In an interview, Yim disclosed that his inspiration for “Collector” got here from Ji-eun’s track “Jam Jam”, a music a few lady who simply needs to have fun and overlook about the expectations of what real love is meant to be.
Eun is naturally playful, however it’s clear that she doesn’t look after real love and its which means at the finish of the film. Eun’s characterisation additionally alludes to the Korean mythological creature Kumiho— a nine-tailed fox who can freely rework into a stupendous lady typically got down to seduce males and eat both their liver or coronary heart. This allusion is obvious at the very finish of the film, the place there’s a shot of a couple of jars of hearts in Eun’s bag. The hearts point out that Eun is in control of the relationships that she will get into, regardless of enjoying a passive position in them, which results in the foremost theme of the movie: feminine sexuality and empowerment.
All through the film, we see Baek Jeong-u — a person who left his fiancee to be with Eun — continuously trapped in a room crammed with self-doubt as he makes an attempt to unravel the thriller that’s Eun. In the beginning, it was Jeong-u who was interested in Eun as a result of of the allure of her ambiguity. He takes it upon himself to attempt to appease Eun by talking about the value of ladies and their significance, for they bring about life and wonder to the world. He’s additionally deeply affected by her responses whereas she not often reacts to his feelings, even sneaking off to kiss another man whilst pretending to go to the toilet. Despite this, Jeong-u continues to be interested in her, and this highlights the quantity of power Eun has over Jeong-u in spite of her infidelity.
Eun uses her sexuality to her benefit, sticking round with Jeong-u just so he’s glad sufficient to offer her his coronary heart at the very finish. When she questions Jeong-u about his love for her, she asks “What is love?”, going so far as to problem him by saying, “Would you take your heart out and give it to me? But you can’t, can you?”. Such phrases strike a chord inside Jeong-u, who doesn’t hesitate to literally rip his coronary heart out and provides it to her. The fact that the men are so prepared to provide Eun their hearts illustrates the overwhelming power she has over them. Yet she is merciless and chilly, asking “Baek… What’s your name again?” when writing his identify on the jar. This means that these men imply nothing however a set to Eun, and that she doesn’t have a deep emotional funding like the males do in the direction of her.
The road “I’ll salt [the heart] and preserve it to ensure it doesn’t rot” is a reference to “Jam Jam”’s “I’ll keep it pickled // So it won’t rot, for a long time”. The line supply add to Eun’s indifference to the males’s love, thus putting her able of larger power. As society progresses and strives for gender equality, female empowerment has additionally been on the rise. “Collector” exhibits how ladies may also be manipulative and in management of conditions. It is reminiscent of Angela Carter’s collection of brief tales entitled “The Bloody Chamber”. Both “Collector” and “The Bloody Chamber” are retellings of fairytales and folktales with a twist that highlights feminine sexuality and empowerment, and both tales have depicted a unique aspect to ladies that our society naturally represses as a result of gender norms and expectations.
In “Kiss Burn”, Ji-eun plays a mischievous teenager named Han-na, who helps her good friend Hye-bok take revenge on Hye-bok’s father. Despite their failed makes an attempt, Han-na and Hye-bok’s friendship continues to strengthen. Following her earlier works, Director Jeon Go-Woon, locations emphasis on youths in relation to society, specializing in youth riot and oppression. Out of all the movies, “Kiss Burn” is the most light-hearted in temper and environment. But this doesn’t take away from the message of the film, however as an alternative highlights the points of rebel and oppression.
The primary source of oppression is mirrored in Hye-bok’s father, who cuts Hye-bok’s hair right into a haphazard method as punishment for receiving a number of hickies from a boy she barely is aware of. He’s implied to be proscribing. He stops Han-na from visiting Hye-bok, and controls Hye-bok’s actions. Her father’s actions are representative of the older era’s disapproval of the youth’s wild and reckless behaviour, they usually prohibit the youths’ actions by imposing rules and punishments.
In response to oppression, Han-na encourages revolt by knocking on the home windows of Hye-bok’s house regardless of being turned away by her father,going as far as staying outdoors Hye-bok’s house until late at night time when Hye-bok’s father finally leaves for work. Her willpower depicts her loyalty and look after Hye-bok, and this silent riot serves to strengthen her friendship with Hye-bok. The 2 women try and rebel by pouring wax on the flooring to make it slippery, in addition to messing with Hye-bok’s father’s chair. These actions are reflective of the childishness and innocence of the youth, where they’re simply amused and glad with the smallest mishap that would happen to the older era, relishing in the simplest of mischief. In fact, Han-na and Hye-bok fail repeatedly, however it’s by way of these scenes the place we see Han-na’s affection in the direction of Hye-bok, and Hye-bok’s admiration for Han-na.
The primary act of insurrection is when Hye-bok tries smoking. Nevertheless, she throws the cigarette away out of worry upon seeing automotive lights approaching her home. This means that despite Hye-bok’s need to rebel, she continues to be restrained by the oppressive guidelines set upon her, and thus she is unable to correctly rebel towards her father. Moreover, the cigarette she throws away begins a fireplace in the hen coop, which results in a hen escaping the coop with its tail on hearth. The hen is the trigger of the forest hearth that occurs at the finish of the film, to which Han-na and Hye-bok are utterly unaware about as they depart for the seashore. This means how insurrection affects society as an entire and that youths neglect the greater image for self-interest. It turns into incredibly ironic when Hye-bok reveals that her father’s job is to watch out for forest fires, when she is oblivious to the forest hearth that she indirectly brought about.
In the last film, “Walking at Night”, Ji-eun takes on the position of a deceased lady who visits her former boyfriend in his dream. The couple walks around whereas discussing their relationship, and their thoughts on love, life, demise and impermanence. Director Kim Jong-Kwan mainly focuses on melodramatic movies that are designed to attraction strongly to the emotions, they usually often take precedence over detailed characterisation, and in “Walking at Night”, he did just that. He focuses on the words the characters are saying somewhat than absolutely creating a personality to the tiniest of element. The film discusses two heavy subjects particularly– melancholy and impermanence.
Ji-eun’s character admits to committing suicide because of loneliness that appeared “endless”, explaining the distinction between being alone and feeling lonely. She goes on to mention that despite never feeling lonely when she was together with her boyfriend, it was because of the overwhelming amount of loneliness she felt with others that ultimately killed her. That is reflective of Korea’s growing suicide price over the years, the place individuals with melancholy end up committing suicide as they really feel lonely, or moderately they assume that no one truly cares about them. It also reminds us that whereas one individual will help, that one individual cannot all the time deflect the assaults of many others.
Melancholy can also be reflected in the boyfriend, who’s seen to be on the verge of tears every time he’s reminded of her suffering. At the beginning of the movie, he immediately breaks down into tears when he remembers that his girlfriend has handed on. Although he handles his own grieving properly sufficient, he is clearly still affected by her dying.When he learns about the cause as to why she passed, he is decided to recollect the cause in order that it doesn’t turn into a fleeting reminiscence.
This results in impermanence, one other theme of the film. The couple always questions whether life has any which means when there isn’t any certainty. Life, goals, and demise are fleeting, for they occur however will not be remembered as soon as passed. That is emphasised by way of the use of lighting throughout the film. Each time the couple broaches an uncomfortable matter, they’re coated by the shadows, but once they relive happier elements of their relationship, the mild shines upon them,. Yet the lighting is consistently changing round them, suggesting that these thoughts and reminiscences are temporary. The transient reminiscences which are depicted by means of the lighting further emphasises on the impermanence of life and the need to stay relevant by making each second rely. “Walking at Night” proves to be the most suitable option amongst the 4 movies to close off this anthology, for it provokes the viewers to mirror upon their actions and the totally different points of themselves which they either present to or cover from the world, tying with the identify of the anthology, “PERSONA”.
In “PERSONA”, all 4 films managed to accentuate the totally different elements of Ji-eun. Whereas we all know and love Ji-eun as IU, “PERSONA” attracts focus to sides of Ji-eun that we not often discover. We sometimes see Ji-eun taking over a unusual and bubbly persona however “PERSONA” highlights elements reminiscent of her mischief, defiance, intelligence and willpower. “PERSONA” was undoubtedly a breath of recent air for UAENAs, and we hope to see Ji-eun uncover extra elements of her character in both her music and movies in the near future. Even for normal audiences, “PERSONA” strives to teach and spread consciousness of issues prevalent in our society, and it is undoubtedly value expecting its eccentricity.
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