Movie Review: Oasis (2002)

OasisThumbby Brad Nelson
Everyone’s a victim these days, so that’s a word that has lost a lot of emotional impact, at least for me. What we find ourselves doing in this culture is trying to ramp up our emotions and tears to match increasingly thinner notions of victimhood.

And while doing so, seemingly only a few ever notice that they are but playing their part in someone else’s macabre and useful psycho-drama. But as long as we shed tears over supposed victims, that supposedly marks us as morally superior people, and therefore many are glad to oblige.

But all of this pseudo-sentiment dissolves into the drivel that it is when one is faced with a real victim, one of those “children of a lesser god” who didn’t quite catch even the minimum breaks in life and is instead severely mentally and physically handicapped.

In “Oasis,” So-ri Moon plays “Gong-ju Han” who is a handicapped young woman whose world is a small one because of her disabilities. Her world is enriched by the odd intersection of her life with a slightly askew social misfit in the person of “Gong-ju Han,” played by Kyung-gu Sol.

What unfolds is much more than just an improbable love story of overcoming life’s challenges. Although the film takes some liberties with sentimentality, woven into this film is a dark commentary on mankind as well as a severe statement regarding conventionality.

But this is a smart film. Nothing is particularly pat. But you will be moved by the incredible performance of both So-ri Moon and Kyung-gu Sol in a film that is a must-see for those who admire startling and sometimes hard-to-watch quality – and a quality that is certainly not conventional. I give it 3.7 nose-wipes out of 5. • (851 views)

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Brad Nelson

About Brad Nelson

I like books, nature, politics, old movies, Ronald Reagan (you get sort of a three-fer with that one), and the founding ideals of this country. We are the Shining City on the Hill — or ought to be. However, our land has been poisoned by Utopian aspirations and feel-good bromides. Both have replaced wisdom and facts.
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3 Responses to Movie Review: Oasis (2002)

  1. Kung Fu Zu says:

    It is surprising this film was made in Korea, as Asia, in general, is not very “handicapped” friendly. Anything out of the norm has been frowned upon or best left ignored.

    On the other hand, there is a strain of Asian literature where the outsider is no longer bound by the constricting rules of a ritualized society thus can do things most people would shrink from. Sometimes honor is involved, sometimes compassion, sometimes love and finding the other outsider for you, making you a member of another group, small though it may be.

    I will see if I pick up this film in Asia.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I didn’t know that Asia wasn’t very handicap friendly. This movie may show some of that.

      I’ve really enjoyed most of the Asian films that I’ve discovered. And quite a few of the good ones come from South Korea. The rest from Japan and China (or expatriate Chinese). If I find any more reviews of Asian films in my archives, I’ll post them.

      I hate to join in with the Left on bashing my own country. But Hollywood has just run out of ideas. They just take a bunch of cliches and put them in a blender. There is little artfulness anymore. So you have to go outside the U.S. I find a lot of good films in Scandinavia as well. Sometimes they lean a bit libtard, but that doesn’t bother me because often they’re just putting on screen what exists in real life. I can’t complain about that. Well, I could, but what would be the point?

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Mr. Kung, I think you might enjoy this Asian film. Here’s a capsule review:

    Review: Travelers and Magicians

    A foreign language film from Bhutan, I guess. Its tagline is “The bitter and the sweet of temporary things,” but this movie is nothing quite so esoteric. This is a very engaging film with a very good story. It’s a wonderful fairy tale of sorts. And it’s refreshingly free of the trite, even though it looks like this movie is going to telegraph a story you’ve seen told many times before.

    This is a movie that you just sit back and let unfold as it will. It’s a bedtime story for grownups. It will make you think a little, but not too much. I love the line it walked in this regard. It’s not blatantly and self-consciously a “thought piece,” and yet it’s possible you may be thinking about this film long after it is over. You might think things such as “Where do I belong? What should I be doing? Have I made the right choices? What have I missed while chasing dreams? What have I escaped because I did chase those dreams?”

    This movie mixes the story of a group of traveling characters with a story being told by one of those travellers. It makes me think how poorly this was done in “Pan’s Labyrinth” where the two worlds had little to do with each other and didn’t mesh well. But it was wonderfully done here. This movie is a bit for art house snobs or lovers of the Zen quirky. No doubt about that. But it’s not a dead-end oddity. I think many people would enjoy watching this film. I give it 3 penis statues out of 5.

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