- Marah Heikkila
Korean Film: Method
There are many films that are at our disposal, yet some of them aren’t in our native language but are some of the most powerful films. In particular, Method is one of those. It is a Korean movie, available with English subtitles as well.
The movie hits upon social issues as well as relationship issues, focusing on the casting of Veteran actor Jae-ha played by Park Sung-woong and idol star Young-woo played by Oh Seung-hoon and are hired to play in a play called Unchain. The film is meta.theatrical, focusing on showing a play put on within a film. The plot itself involves a homosexual relationship between the pair, and at first it is acting, but as time progresses, this thriller and psychological turn of a film indulges in taboo of both homosexuality and age gap relationships within Korean culture.
Seung-hoon is rather rough at first not wanting to listen or put in effort in the production they’re putting on, but as he sees Sung-woong’s passion, he takes his role seriously. He drowns himself in it, blurring the lines of reality and fiction. He adopts his characters feelings or his older male counterpart. And while the film focuses on the taboo moments of the couple, the pushing boundaries, the verge into a reality becomes frightening.
Seung-hoon takes his role so seriously, it became frightening, life threatening even. One of the best parts about the film is its suspense, it’s not knowing. By the end of the film, what sets the viewer on edge is the line Seung-hoon has blurred between himself and his role. HE adapts an obsession with Sung-woong, setting a rift between Sung-woong and his wife.
The pushing of boundaries within unconventional relationships is also one of the things that makes this film standout. The film pushes boundaries, especially in Korea. It also shows the complications and taboos within culture when Sung-woong is scared to show has possible relationship with the younger actor. He wants to hide his desires and eh does for some time, insinuating that this relationship or public appearance would not be allowed or perceived all too well in public.
The chemistry between the characters is also authentic, making their relationship easy to become attached to and involved it. It puts the viewer in the seat in order to come up with their own conclusions on hoe social norms are challenged and even transgressed in the film.
Overall, the film does well to focus on issues that involve pushing boundaries, specifically against the heteronormative standard, and it does surpass the language barrier. The film comes with subtitles and can be streamed on YouTube. The film is rated PG-13.