Jong-su bumps into a girl who used to live in the same neighborhood, who asks him to look after her cat while she's on a trip to Africa. When back, she introduces Ben, a mysterious guy she met there, who confesses his secret hobby.
In the DMZ separating North and South Korea, two North Korean soldiers have been killed, supposedly by one South Korean soldier. But the 11 bullets found in the bodies, together with the 5 ... See full summary »
Jong-du, a young man just out of prison for manslaughter, is a social misfit: fidgety, snuffling, laughing inappropriately, without a super ego. When released, he calls on the family of the victim; they send him away, but not before he has seen Gong-ju, a young woman disabled severely by cerebral palsy. Both are abused by their families, and both are used by them as well. Although their relationship begins with Jong-du's criminal behavior, a friendship develops. They talk of favorite things; he washes her hair; they go out; in late night phone calls, he helps her past her fears of the dark. Is there a place in the world for these two inarticulate people?Written by
"Oasis" is the story of the relationship of a man imprisoned by his mind with a woman imprisoned by her body. That they establish a relationship comes as much because of their handicaps as in spite of them.
I knew before seeing the film that Moon So-ri was an able-bodied actress. As a result, at first I wasn't convinced she was playing someone with cerebral palsy. But Lee Chang-dong does a brilliant thing. He films several scenes that become the imaginings and fantasies of Gong-ju, Moon's character, as an able-bodied woman. This had the effect on me of seeing Gong-ju as disabled. And it spells out clearly that cerebral palsy is a physical condition not a mental one.
Sol Kyung-gu as Jong-du is perfect. I've been describing Jong-du as "simple-minded" to others but that doesn't pinpoint his mental condition. I might say he is carefree but it's not just an attitude; he is carefree to the point of mental illness. His condition makes him act both bad (he's been in prison three times) and good (he absolutely sees right through Gong-ju's handicap and truly comes to care for her). While Gong-ju is frustrated over her condition and how others use her it, Jong-du appears so utterly accepting of his fate that he doesn't even defend himself. I can't stop thinking about how Mr. Sol has played this interesting character.
Both Gong-ju's and Jong-du's families scorn and pity their conditions. But watch how they also come to exploit them as well.
I highly recommend this film.
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