Posted at 01.01.2019
Director Lee Chang Dong runs on the male identity as symbolic of deprivation during the political, cost-effective and social turmoil in the 80's and 90's in the militarized and masculinity Korean world. This film could be considered as a melodrama that explores the extent to which Young Ho's life is molded by the public system. Compared to other films, it portrays Young Ho's life from the current to days gone by, where he jumps to the rail way and screams "I am going back again", and commits a suicide. This event calls for the audience through a process in Young Ho's life proclaimed with harsh activities that made him a totally different young man, full of hopes yet living a life of dreams. Each of moments portrayed the Young Ho's former, and tells the reasons why he made a decision to destroy himself later in the movie. These incidents are shown through the emotional exploration of Young Ho's life, which changed him into a person without desire and love and an oppressive and manipulating population slowly reduced his individuality. On this sense, the film encapsulates the transition of the armed service dictatorship in the Korean government during the 1980's to the economic turmoil in the 1990's within the Korean government by portraying in Young Ho's life. Among the primary elements which were shown in the movie was the masculinity of Young Ho. His masculinity portrayed a militarized contemporary society which formed Young Ho's personality and mind. Because the Korean military represents the strong guy masculinity, the movie obviously shows the way the military services took control over the Korean society during 1980's and 1990's, which created a militarized culture that emphasized masculine nature. When Young Ho realizes about his better half Honja cheated on him, he brutally abuses her. It had been ironic to observe how he cured his wife, while he was having affair with the secretary. So, quite simply, man could do whatever they need and decide on anything without speaking about with his partner, which presents the male oriented society. BECAUSE THE Gwang Ju massacre led to eliminating many students and civilians, it impacted Korean administration for quite some time and later two Southern Korean presidents finished up getting thrown by the civilians. You will find violence displays where Young Ho brutally abuses the scholar to get the info he needed at the Kwangju massacre world, where in fact the soldier is better than the men by kicking them and assaulting them. This scene contradicts with the system of Korea military services, which a person with power in military services could beat up low level military and abuses them. Also, it demonstrated just how Young Ho was treated in the armed service and exactly how he learned to utilize those unmoral habits to civilians. Even though, the movie criticized of Korean ruined population, Peppermint Chocolate also could be looked at as a movie that criticizes the armed forces system in Korea. Through the 1980's and 1990's, the armed forces modified men into completely different people through distressing experiences like how Young Ho was improved by this. Yong Ho was became brutal and disparaging man after he familiar with the Kwang Ju Massacre. It was the most important turning point in the process of Young Ho's brutal life because he actually seems how it is to destroy someone innocent and have the murder he would have never done. By demonstrating the masculinity tendencies of Young Ho, the film itself provides therapeutic massage about the problem of Korea's government and modern culture. The director portrayed the image of militarized masculinity as the violence, strict self-control, and rational calculation, which were shown throughout the movie and exactly how Young Ho used each one of these elements to emphasize his male driven society. Through the entire movie, Young Ho, the protagonist of this film keeps away from activities which were considered female. Young Ho and his fellow policeman discuss about the role as a dad, which tells that they are only to talk to their teachers after they does bad things in the institution. If Young Ho was involved with lots of womanly activities, it disparages the energy of masculinity and would not satisfy the best purpose of movie. At the same time, Young would sensed the shame and guilty in what he have. Men during 1980's and 1990's didn't feel that it was their job to cope with child's teachers, and may determine their decisions without speaking about and dealing with wife. Many of these show how this character fits in to the concept of militarized culture and the way the film reflect upon a modern culture that designs their behavior and head after 24 months of intense armed forces service and training. Therefore, the masculinity given is shown as a huge area of the plot, where it brings the focus on main character. Peppermint Candy shows the role of women within the narration in order to focus on how it afflicted the entire movie storyline. Since, the movie mainly concentrated on the man's life and male oriented society, I had formed hard time observing any womanly ideology that was shown in the movie. Most of women was ignored or treated badly by people representing a male-oriented culture during 1980's and 1990's. In the movie, female functions are shown through Sunim and Honja, who have different kind of factor. They enjoyed major role in building Young Ho's mind about life and the storyline plot of film. Within the movie, Sunim symbolizes motivation and love because she was Young Ho's first and real love, but Honja presents as an object to be cheated on and overlooked because he sleeps with her even though he didn't feel true compassionate love. Before, Young Ho became brutal and carefree man, he actually resided a life with filled with anticipation because of Sunim's love. But, after he became someone different, he avoids to meet her and has different way of thinking about her than before. Because, these two females actually acquired relationship with Young Ho and finished up in damaging way, Young Ho starts to feel hopeless and hatred toward other people and his life. Since, women roles are being used as tools to aid a male-oriented plot, the director meticulously used it expressing the way the women's role in military services was portrayed as negative ways. Within the movie, Young Ho accidentally killed young girl through the Gwang Ju Massacre, which made him into more brutal man. Because she perished without any problem, Young Ho believed so much pity to himself and became aware how it feels to eliminate someone innocent. By experiencing tragic event, Young Ho's masculinity was formed by pain and sorrow of his action toward feminine persona. The director could've used the male student instead of female learner in the movie, but then it could not support a male driven society which is the ultimate purpose of this film. However, I was not sure if the director intended to use this method to criticize the female role in contemporary society or if the film formerly planned to express power of masculine world or even the militarized contemporary society had effect on the director. Finally, it explores not only of the political degradation of Korea but it addittionally degrades masculine moral ideology in the culture. . The director Lee Chang Dong used various symbolisms to improve artistic principle and the degradation of masculinity in the movie. Most of audience would be unaware of the meaning of specific symbolisms in this movie because symbols make conscious and unconscious links about the character and depends on its cultural backdrop. The tragic fatale of Young Ho's life is more emphasized through the ongoing train and it also represents a guy power. This coach is always look after tragic incidents in his life which explains to audiences that contemporary society and masculinity will be the ultimate factors behind Yong Ho's disgrace and habit. The view from the back of train shows the motion of man's life toward guilty free and happy former by showing the beauty of mother nature, but at the same it reminds the audience about the man's suicide on the record at the beginning of film. Inside the movie, his camera presents his dreams and expectations about learning to be a famous shooter and lives a moral life. After Yong Ho offers his camera, and cheats on his wife after defeating her terribly, the audience recognizes the teach passing. The train moving backwards represents the reversing of the narrative and the wonderful life of Young Ho. Furthermore, the peppermint chocolate represents the masculinity and innocence in the movie. It was Young Ho's first love gift idea from Sunim looked after made Young Ho bear in mind her and was able to prevail his masculinity. Regrettably, His innocence and ideals goes away when the candy was crashed on to the floor by a sergeant. When he left the candies behind, it was turning point for him and he lost innocence by militarized world. He used to be a bright-eyed junior in the beginning field, but he loses his innocence as the plot advances. In each landscape, the symbols like coach, camera, and peppermint chocolate show the real and good side of Young Ho and regarded as the resistor resistant to the militarized and masculinity society. As soon as each one gets damaged, Young Ho shows brutal and immoral habit. Every one of these symbols allows adding details to the introduction of Young Ho's behavior. Therefore, these and other symbolisms communicate masculinity in Peppermint Chocolate. Many of these elements show the way the film symbolizes masculine society and exactly how it inspired overall plot. It's important to notice that the concentrate of movie is not masculinity exclusively, but also show that every man had natural and innocence part inside of their hearts. Peppermint Chocolate is a story about a man in just a political world which formed him in negative ways and ultimately shows the negative part of Korea's society during 1980's and 1990's. However, Masculinity plainly sets a record in overall contemporary society and affects a main character's mind. Since the society was male oriented, the movie looks for reconstruction of world and Korean masculinity from a tight and severe militarized to a pure and independence one. Therefore the director Lee Chang-Dong explores one of the very most tragic occasions in Korean history within an extremely powerful way by portraying a male identity who struggles within the militarized modern culture.