oldboy

I’m sure it comes with no surprise to anyone how much pain this terrible tragedy has caused in our fragile little nation. With people being blown up all over the world (120 killed just the other day in Iraq), the terror finally came back home on Monday, April 16th, in Virginia.

Now, I don’t need to go over all the details with everyone, but yes, a South Korean student (who’s been living here for 15 years, so I don’t see how that REALLY matters…we’ll get back to that), went crazy and blasted 32 people from this world to the next. I feel awful for the families and I really do wish them my best sympathies.

It got me thinking, and I wrote a screenplay about an imaginary conversation I’d have with Cho, whom I nicknamed in the screenplay John due to the name of his constant characters in his own scripts. You can read his scripts here
and here.
Quite frankly the scripts are pretty damn awful. They’re graphic, and gory, and obviously communicate some disturbing thought almost in a David Lynch sort of way- that is to say if the dialogue is intentionally illegible. The second script, Mr. Brownstone, is sort of interesting, and let’s us in to this kid’s VERY cynical mindset (he pretty much sees himself as not only being physically raped, but financially and morally raped no matter where he goes), and would make a weird production.

In any case, I really don’t understand how someone can snap and kill 32 people. The number is sorta random in my opinion, but I suppose that’s not the point. I wish someone had stopped him, personally, and the VA Tech Gun Club is pissed about that too. They said in an interview that if they were allowed to carry their guns responsibly on campus, they themselves would have stopped him. You can find more of the relevant information to the case at this AOL news link, which I actually found rather interesting and not so cluttered with bias (as is usual with AOL).

So, once all the media hubub of finding out who this nut job is, and how many people he slaughtered is over, what’s the next step? Finding a piece of media to blame.

cho

The 2003 Cannes Grand Prix (one of the highest honors) award winning South Korean revenge film, Oldboy, one of my top ten favorite movies of all time, is now being connected to the murders. Maybe not in a direct “this is what made him do it” sense, but as for how he chose his style. The picture above shows him holding a hammer in a SIMILAR fashion to the main character, Oh Dae Su.

Here’s the funny thing though, readers: For once I completely agree with the media connections. There is far more evidence supporting his feelings to this degree than against them. It’s simple thematic things, such as his long winded, almost uber-cliche revenge speeches, his desire to pose and be seen as “dressed to kill,” and his South Korean heritage. This is the biggest Korean film in the last 15 years…but there’s more connections to it than that.

In the film, Oh Dae Su is a man who is imprisoned and tortured (emotionally) for 15 years.

Cho, the serial killer at VA Tech, has lived in America for 15 years.

It’s been awhile since I’ve used coincidences as meanings, but c’mon folks, this is seriously too obvious. If he worshiped film, as shown in the stylish photos he took of himself, then this is one obvious example. Sky News, a British based website, lists more examples of the comparisons between his character and the fictional ones.

One image is a clear cut comparison, and it might not even be stretching it:

oldboycomparison

In the three Chan Wook Park films, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy, and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, the motive is an inhuman desire to deride the opponents through brutal torture and emotional destruction beyond what we normally expect from a revenge film. Some of the scenes in these movies are more brutal than gore fests such as Hostel or The Hills Have Eyes.

Now, obviously this guy went after people with guns, and that’s the main difference. I’m not actually claiming Oldboy as an inspiration for his attack, but there are certain comparisons to his mental state and his ability to cope with reality to the main character. It’s more along the lines of the guy who tried to shoot Regan than anything else, except that followed a similar plot to Taxi Driver. However, both Bickle (the character) and that shooter were messed up in similar ways.

I honestly wish I knew this kid and had a chance to talk him out of it. Maybe if he really did like the movie, we could have had a conversation and gone to lunch or something. It’s a tragedy when people get so messed up that they turn to a form of media to reshape their reality, but it DOES happen. I’m not sure what was responsible- it could have been the film Elefant by Gus Van Sant for all I know, but one thing is for sure- Cho wasn’t living in our reality anymore. When you make pictures like that and send them to the media, it means you want people to remember you as a fictitious character, not an actual person.

This articles based around the film are starting to pop up all over the net. It’s even spread to the IMDB forums by now, and I’m sure it’ll be a wiki reference in no time. Some professors apparently made the connection after seeing the hammer picture on the net.

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