I know that I have been leaning very heavily towards all things Korean lately so I wanted switch it up a bit and write about one of my favorite Japanese actor Joe Odagiri in one of my favorite movies Dream.
I first saw Joe in Dream, a 2008 Korean movie written and directed by Kim Ki-Duk that was a mix of very twisted romance, mystery and thriller. Joe’s character speaks Japanese for the entire movie while everyone else speaks in Korean. The interesting thing about that is everyone understands what Joe is saying and he understands them.
As someone who watches shows in both Japanese and Korean, I have to confess that I didn’t catch that both languages were being spoken at first. At one point, Joe said “desu ka” and I was like WHAT?! I then freaked out and re-started the entire movie while I ranted and raved about how Kim Ki-Duk was able to come up with such a hot concept and how cool Joe was to be able to pull it off. Meanwhile my neighbors were probably sitting with their fingers hovering over 9-1-1 if I didn’t shut the flick up.
Joe’s acting in that movie was very intense, especially towards the end when he was torturing himself to keep from falling asleep. At one point in time, when I couldn’t take watching him stab and beat himself anymore, I got mad and almost stopped watching. To me, if she was already locked up, why not sleep? Why continue to hurt himself?
A fan commented to another fan during a drama I was watching on Viki, “If you are that mad at the character, to the point that you want to choke them, then the actor is doing their job.” It is so true! When I first started watching Korean dramas and movies, some of them would get me so worked up that I thought I was going crazy. In reality, all it was just damn good writers, directing and acting.
That’s how it was for me during Dream. So of course, I kept watching. Was it out of morbid fascination or was it because of Joe’s super realistic acting that kept me tuned in? Probably both. Either way, I’m glad I did. The ending was as weird as the rest of the movie. It left me wondering if the whole thing was supposed to be a dream or if it was only one part in particular? If it was, which part was it? Did she really turn into a butterfly and fly out of the mental hospital or was the butterfly supposed to represent her soul, since she killed herself?
I’ve watched it a couple of times now and still can’t make heads or tails of it. It was one of those flicks where I got it but not really. However, Dream is still one of my favs and is usually one of the first that I recommend for people to watch if they haven’t already.