the childe

The Childe is a South Korean crime thriller action film directed by Park Hoon-jung. This film starring Kim Seon-ho and Kang Tae-joo is their feature film debut. Kim Seon-ho, as we know, often plays in popular drama series, including Start-Up and Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha. How is Seon-ho’s appearance in this crime-action film full of sadistic and brutal scenes?

Marco (Tae-joo) is a boxer of Korean – Filipino descent (term: Kopino) who makes a living from ring to ring. The situation was exacerbated by her mother’s condition, who was seriously ill, forcing him to commit criminal acts to make money. During a difficult situation, a few men from South Korea arrives who claim Marco’s father sent them. He wants to meet Marco immediately. Marco agreed in the hope that his mother could be saved, but when he got there, he was suddenly chased by several parties who wanted his life. His father turned out to be a big criminal kingpin. One of them is a brutal assassin (Seon-ho) who chases him wherever he runs.

The premise that runs slowly at the beginning gradually becomes a non-stop chase action. Our curiosity is piqued for half the duration of the film. One big question, why are they after Marco? This went unanswered for up to two-thirds of the duration; surprisingly, the motive added the tension. Everything that happened before made sense. We are presented with an ultra-brutal climax at the end of the story. A similar climax – one hero vs dozens of enemies – has become a tradition for Korean action films—nothing new except for the appearance of a brutal killer played by Seon-ho.

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Kim Seon-ho, who previously played sweet roles in his drama series, this time played a contrasting role through an extra brutal figure. Seon-ho seemed to want to escape from the shadows of his previous roles. Since the opening scene, his brutal action will surely surprise the star’s fans. This nameless character does appear to be more of a psychopath than an assassin. Seon-ho plays perfectly as this brutal figure. It’s not the star who has a problem, but the story concept makes him a noble-hearted killer. Of course, there will be pros and cons.

The Childe carries a unique South Korean – Filipino descent theme by combining a suspenseful crime thriller. Unfortunately, twist after twist weakens the film’s story and message. Is the issue of neglected Korean-Filipino descent an urgent issue now? This is a big question. But the point is not the issue but the process of reaching a solution which becomes a big question of morals. Is helping others (with good intentions) by killing humans a wise solution? There is a saying, plant good seeds so that they grow well. The line between good and evil today is very thin. The film medium now it’s common to present with the sole view of commercial profit.

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Hobinya menonton film sejak kecil dan mendalami teori dan sejarah film secara otodidak setelah lulus dari studi arsitektur. Ia mulai menulis artikel dan mengulas film sejak tahun 2006. Karena pengalamannya, penulis ditarik menjadi staf pengajar di Akademi Televisi dan Film swasta di Yogyakarta untuk mengajar Sejarah Film, Pengantar Seni Film, dan Teori Film sejak tahun 2003 hingga tahun 2019. Buku film debutnya adalah Memahami Film (2008) yang memilah seni film sebagai naratif dan sinematik. Buku edisi kedua Memahami Film terbit pada tahun 2018. Buku ini menjadi referensi favorit bagi para akademisi film dan komunikasi di seluruh Indonesia. Ia juga terlibat dalam penulisan Buku Kompilasi Buletin Film Montase Vol. 1-3 serta 30 Film Indonesia Terlaris 2012-2018. Ia juga menulis Buku Film Horor: Dari Caligari ke Hereditary (2023) serta Film Horor Indonesia: Bangkit Dari Kubur (2023). Hingga kini, ia masih menulis ulasan film-film terbaru di dan terlibat dalam semua produksi film di Komunitas Film Montase. Film- film pendek arahannya banyak mendapat apresiasi tinggi di banyak festival, baik lokal maupun internasional. Baru lalu, tulisannya masuk dalam shortlist (15 besar) Kritik Film Terbaik dalam Festival Film Indonesia 2022. Sejak tahun 2022 hingga kini, ia juga menjadi pengajar praktisi untuk Mata Kuliah Kritik Film dan Teori Film di Institut Seni Indonesia Yogyakarta dalam Program Praktisi Mandiri.


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