August 6, 2012

The Crucible/Silenced: Movie Review

Honestly, this movie has had so much impact, all around the world. And I can see why. The topic this movie addresses, the abuse and dehumanization of the diabled, is something so explicit, something that wouldn't be publicly shown in Korea and it applies to the whole entire world.The seriousness of such a topic is just utterly mind blowing. The impact this movie has had however is a turn for the better. Silenced has had so many views in box office and so many people have come together to try to persuade the government for new legislature defending minors' and the impaired's rights that change has happened. The "Dogani Law" was passed in Korea, protecting the rights of impaired children. Many newspapers and papers have reviewed the movie saying that it is a huge impact on the future human rights of Korea, possibly even of the world. Here's a short synopsis:

Taking place at a deaf school in remote town Mujin, new art teacher Kang Inho (played by Gong Yoo) come to teach. But barely through his first day, he is struck by the eeriness of the school. The kids are very closed and ignore or avoid him. His introduction to the principal and the principal's twin, Chief Lee, is a also a bit unnerving. And at night, as he is leaving the school, he hears what he thinks are the screams of a child. However, he is only told that the children make strange noises because they are deaf. But witnessing the brutal treatment of one of the hearing impaired children by the school's "residence counselor", Inho begins to discover the school's dark secrets.
The child, Yon-du, witnesses to the horrifying things that have happened to her at the school, no short of sexual and physical abuse. Inho and a cop he meets called Yoojin begin to investigate and find two other children, boy and girl, who have been raped and molested by the principal and teachers of the school. They have also been seriously physically abused. Both adults file a lawsuit against the offenders but what makes this situation so much more difficult is the fact that all of the children have no parents or parents who are mentally disabled. The children themselves have some disabilities including hearing inability. Another struggle involving Kang Inho is also present. He struggles to make enough money for his mother and sick child. But this case threatens his job and security of his family. He must choose what to do: support his child and ignore everyone else's problems including the abused childrens' or help the children find justice. This heartwrenching and saddening movie brings to light a problem of disabled children's schools and their rights.

As you can see, this movie is not for light entertainment. The topic is of utmost seriousness but I think the movie gets it point and purpose across without getting to gruesome. There were actually some parts that I covered my face, not because of explicit scenes but just because the scenes depicted so much of the fear and pain the children went through.
I totally forgot to mention but this movie is actually based on a true story. That I think is the scariest part of this movie. These things have actually happened to these children and are still probably happening to children all around the world.
Also about the acting, some critics have said that Gong Yoo's, the teacher's, acting is not the best but I have to argue with that. I think he does well conveying the inner struggles he must go trough in order to see justice happen for others. His character, unsure of what is right and wrong, tempted by money for the betterment of his family, is more relatable than that of an outright hero who does not question whether he should support the children or not at his own risk. Plus if you have some background knowledge on Gong Yoo, you'll know that his acting positions have a lot of variety. Recently he was in the korean drama Big which is extremely comical, completely opposite of Silenced. His acting I think should be respected and admired because he had depicted so many different characters. But I must admit, the child acting is out of this world. They convey the feelings and everything so well, they are truly the stars of this film. To be given such responsibility of depicting these abused children's fear and pain is such a huge pressure but they did an outstanding job. If you want to see amazing child acting, this is the movie to see it in. That is if you don't mind the disturbing topic it is about.

Seeing this movie, I think, is good for awareness. Movies like this make you aware of the problems of this world and makes you want to help and do something. We can't go to Korea, we can't get rid of all these awful people who commit crimes like this but we can do something to help. One, spread the awareness! The more these issues are exposed and known by people, the more power there is for there to be change and hope. Two, there is now an organization called Break the Silence and you can buy a charity tee on The money directly goes to a charity that helps fund the hearing impaired children directly affected by the actual case in the movie. All profits go to the Holder Center in South Korea, an organization that has been providing shelter for the victims. They have even gone beyond just providing shelter, but have provided a home. They have been educating them, buying clothes, and taking them on trips like a family. Try to buy a tee, I definitely will be. Here's a picture of the design:
One final thing. This movie made me appreciate what I have and made me realize how lucky and blessed I am to be in supporting and loving family and have a great community. All of these children need help from people who can give it but usually their problems are veiled from our awareness. Now that you are aware try to do something. Make some impact on the issues of this world, and it doesn't have to be only this organization! It can be a totally different charity, organization, a totally different issue, but let's make some change in this world. We have some ability to make this happen and the first step is to spread the awareness :) [click this link for more info :]

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