the childe

“The Childe” is a South Korean crime thriller action film directed by Park Hoon-jung, featuring Kim Seon-ho and Kang Tae-joo in their feature film debut. Kim Seon-ho, known for his roles in popular drama series such as “Start-Up” and “Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha,” takes on a different character in this crime-action film filled with sadistic and brutal scenes.

The story follows Marco (played by Tae-joo), a Korean-Filipino boxer, struggling to make ends meet in the ring to support his seriously ill mother. His life takes a dark turn when men from South Korea claim to be sent by Marco’s father, a notorious criminal kingpin. Marco, desperate to save his mother, agrees to meet his father, only to find himself hunted by various parties upon arrival, including a brutal assassin portrayed by Seon-ho.

The film’s slow-paced premise builds into a non-stop chase action, keeping the audience curious about why Marco is being pursued. The motive is revealed two-thirds into the film, adding tension and making earlier events meaningful. The climax, featuring the traditional one-hero-against-dozens-of-enemies scenario in Korean action films, stands out with Seon-ho’s portrayal of a brutal killer, a departure from his previous sweet roles in dramas.

Seon-ho successfully breaks away from his previous image, delivering a convincing performance as a psychopathic assassin. While some may have reservations about the concept of a noble-hearted killer, the film’s unique theme of Korean-Filipino descent adds an interesting layer to the suspenseful crime thriller.

However, the film’s twists weaken the overall story and message. The exploration of the neglected Korean-Filipino descent theme raises questions about the urgency of the issue. The central moral dilemma revolves around whether helping others, even with good intentions, justifies resorting to killing. The film prompts reflection on the thin line between good and evil in today’s world and the common tendency of the film industry to prioritize commercial profit over meaningful storytelling.

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A lifelong cinephile, he cultivated a deep interest in film from a young age. Following his architectural studies, he embarked on an independent exploration of film theory and history. His passion for cinema manifested in 2006 when he began writing articles and film reviews. This extensive experience subsequently led him to a teaching position at the esteemed Television and Film Academy in Yogyakarta. From 2003 to 2019, he enriched the minds of students by instructing them in Film History, Introduction to Film Art, and Film Theory. His scholarly pursuits extended beyond the classroom. In 2008, he published his seminal work, "Understanding Film," which delves into the core elements of film, both narrative and cinematic. The book's enduring value is evidenced by its second edition, released in 2018, which has become a cornerstone reference for film and communication academics across Indonesia. His contributions extend beyond his own authorship. He actively participated in the compilation of the Montase Film Bulletin Compilation Book Volumes 1-3 and "30 Best Selling Indonesian Films 2012-2018." Further solidifying his expertise, he authored both "Horror Film Book: From Caligari to Hereditary" (2023) and "Indonesian Horror Film: Rising from the Grave" (2023). His passion for film extends to the present day. He continues to provide insightful critiques of contemporary films on, while actively participating in film production endeavors with the Montase Film Community. His own short films have garnered critical acclaim at numerous festivals, both domestically and internationally. Recognizing his exceptional talent, the 2022 Indonesian Film Festival shortlisted his writing for Best Film Criticism (Top 15). His dedication to the field continues, as he currently serves as a practitioner-lecturer for Film Criticism and Film Theory courses at the Yogyakarta Indonesian Institute of the Arts' Independent Practitioner Program.


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