Socio Political Allegory Of Park Chan Wook 's Oldboy

1698 Words7 Pages
Mehtasim Mahfuz
CCS 394
Professor Pi-Ju Liang
Socio-Political Allegory in Park Chan Wook’s Oldboy
10 December 2015

Abstract One of Director Park Chan Wook’s most renowned works is the film Oldboy (2003). At face value, this film appears to be a regular mystery-thriller film. However, after further analysis, there are many parallels to contemporary Korean history and society. These parallels, or allegories, become more apparent upon review of the film. The film contains references to Korea’s tumultuous history and contemporary culture, highlighting the multiple disappointments felt by the Korean people (Seth). The main character Oh Dae-su also stands in for the “average” Korean citizen while his adversary, Lee Woo-jin, represents upper class citizens, or chaebols, in Korea. After analyzing these points, this paper argues that Oldboy does in fact serve as a socio-political allegory for problems faced in contemporary Korea. Problems that are addressed include democratization, class structure and privilege, capitalism, and the importance of power and money in Korea (Kim).

Socio-Political Allegory in Park Chan Wook’s Oldboy While films are primarily for entertainment, they often also stand as an excellent medium for spreading awareness about social issues. It is often seen in cinema that a small point or effect actually has a much larger meaning. Historically, directors have used to raise awareness and spread knowledge about social issues.

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