Oasis (2002) poster
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 593 users
# of Watchers: 1,649
Reviews: 7 users
Ranked #6269
Popularity #6045
Watchers 593

Jong Du is autistic and ignores society's rules, unaware or unconcerned with the consequences of his actions. Unable to hold a job and always on the edge, he has been in jail three times: for attempted rape, for causing an accident while drunk, and for armed robbery. On the spur of the moment, he decides to visit and apologize to the family of the man killed by his brother. When he arrives, he finds a husband and wife moving out of their apartment, leaving the husband's seriously disabled sister, Gong Ju, for the neighbors to look after. Jong Du and Gong Ju slowly begin a friendship based on their mutual feelings of isolation. He provides her with the closeness she desperately needs, and she has found someone to care for for the first time in her life. As their relationship becomes known, both their families are scandalized and, aided by the prejudices of society, transform the innocence of their love into something sick and twisted. Edit Translation

  • English
  • magyar / magyar nyelv
  • dansk
  • Norsk
  • Country: South Korea
  • Type: Movie
  • Release Date: Aug 15, 2002
  • Duration: 2 hr. 12 min.
  • Score: 7.5 (scored by 593 users)
  • Ranked: #6269
  • Popularity: #6045
  • Content Rating: 18+ Restricted (violence & profanity)

Cast & Credits

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Oasis (2002) photo
Oasis (2002) photo
Oasis (2002) photo
Oasis (2002) photo
Oasis (2002) photo
Oasis (2002) photo

Reviews

Completed
unterwegsimkoreanischenD
21 people found this review helpful
Oct 31, 2023
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 7.5
This review may contain spoilers

Thought provoking. Confronting the arrogance of the ´normal´. Truly outstanding acting performance

"Oasis" was highly celebrated by international film critics in 2002. Director and screenwriter Lee Chang-dong, who had with "Peppermint Candy" in 1999 already contributed a milestone in Korean film art, came up with this unusual love story between a mentally retarded young man and a young woman with infantile cerebral palsy. In doing so, he once again relied on Sol Kyung-gu and Moon So-ri, who had proven themselves as a couple in "Peppermint Candy" and who now once again deliver truly outstanding acting performances in "Oasis". The list of international awards – i.e. in Venice, Vancouver, Bergen, Brisbane, Seattle and Seville - as well as in South Korea, is long. And rightly so.

“Oasis” is pure (independent) KMovie! It impressively embodies a great strength of South Korean movie production: ruthlessness! Even if social life is characterized by facades, coats, make-up and social reputations, modern South Korean cinema has (since the end of dictatorial censorship) proven what 'independence' really means. The freedom to finally show things the way they really are! Not being afraid of what is hurting, what is ugly, what is disgusting! The brutal revelation of the emotional abyss to which the human soul may be exposed over the course of a human life. Situations and moments in life that people tend/wish to quickly forget. The cruelties that people are capable of inflicting on each other. The look behind the facades and underneath the coats, where we are naked and without make-up, alone and vulnerable. But this is where we are sincere and real, too. From there, a new form of beauty and strength can grow. KMovies bring to light even the unloved, unpleasant, repressed, despised, perverted, uninhibited, disturbing human emotions with magnificent intensity, which are often presented so authentically that it hurts (because it's so true). The protagonists have no claim whatsoever to be likeable. This creative courage, when it comes to production and performance, as well as the audience´s willingness to open up to these cinematic works is (in my opinion) almost unique.
“Oasis” offers an impressive expression of this particular artistic attitude. This is a thought provoking KMovie confronting the arrogance of the ´normal´. The plot is about a young woman and a young man who – in the eyes of their social environment - preferably should be socially isolated and actually locked away, as they are supposedly unpresentable. Because of their disability, they are ultimately just a nuisance, causing work and trouble, irritating the 'normal' people with their unpredictable behavior, and actually not contributing anything... Because the families are ashamed of them.

The KMovie bluntly frames that social norms are in fact more important to 'us' than people. "Oasis" encourages to open up a bit and approach the lives of those 'waywards'. And lo and behold! They are sensitive, soulful people like 'us' - with feelings, dreams and longings. They are falling in love. They long for relationships. They are just people, too. Lovable people. Adults with their own lives.

'He' is a physically healthy man in his late 20s, but at the mental level of an 8 year old. He is strong, but easy to manipulate and rather simple-minded. 'She', on the other hand, is physically handicapped due to her severe infantile cerebral palsy to such an extent that she is dependent on help. Due to the impairment of her nervous system, which affects voluntary motor skills, speech disorders, spasms, as well as sensory and motor limitations are occurring, too. Intelligence isn't actually her problem, but that young woman in "Oasis" apparently wasn't given any specific assistance, just basic care. She has her difficulties communicating.

The way the families treat their ´waywards´ is horrendous. In fact, they are both unscrupulously exploited and abused. And both are helpless in their own ways. He doesn't fully grasp the situation. She is physically dependent on helping hands.

The romantic relationship between the two is quite something else. Their start can be considered downright dubious. And yet, as the odd couple they are, they both are happy together. The picture of the oasis on the wall jumps out of its frame and fills the room. In their togetherness, the couple has created an almost magic space where their souls can relate and recharge, where they can be a different person. It is touching, indeed. ´He´ is a responsible man and she is a desirable woman! Yet, this reality is completely alien to their social environment. The families don't have the slightest idea, that this could be even possible: those two ´handicapped losers´ being actually able to genuinely caring for each other and loving each other just the way they are. Not even their closest families honestly tried to truly reach out and attempt to understand their brother/sister.

Bringing the quality of this relationship against all odds authentically to the audience is the unique beauty and strength of “Oasis”. Although 'beauty' is not otherwise something, one would directly associate with this movie. There is hardly any beauty in the world of those two protagonists, where their environment isn´t taking them serious at all. They are either patronized or treated in a disrespectful and disdainful manner. Nevertheless, their feelings for each other radiate beauty and grace. Interaction may inevitably be rather awkward, but still they find their unique way. In the end, it all comes to an almost passionately brilliant finale when HE risks everything in order to by all means keep his promise to HER: sawing off the branches of the tree in front of her window, which only cast shadows on her beloved oasis picture on the wall...

The KMovie leaves us with our thoughts behind. Touched. And - substitutional for those two families, the police, the neighbors etc., who in their arrogance are blind to the inner world of those two lovers – ashamed, too.

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Completed
AmandaMarta
19 people found this review helpful
Jun 29, 2013
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
A truly difficult, insightful, and a moving masterpiece. Despite the low ratings on MDL (7.17), the film is slow with limited romance but it needs every ounce of your attention to be seen as a wondrous film. For those who find it hard to watch an actress transforms herself into a handicapped woman who suffers celebral palsy and how a discriminating society treats these outcasters, I do not recommend to watch this type of film.

This film inspires others on what true love exactly means and how their love for each other is shunned and looked down upon within society. Not everything in this film is simple and easy on the eyes to watch especially certain behaviors portrayed by the male actor and the suffering mental illness of the main female lead.

So-ri Moon's performance was outstanding. She truly shined that made others believe she actually has cerebral palsy. Kyung-gu Sol also transforms into a character who behaves and thinks like a 8-10 year old boy who is evidently in an almost-thirty year old body.

Why watch this film? To be honest, this film is not a typical Saturday night and needs to be seen in a mature yet understanding manner. If you have an interest in social and discriminating issues within society, this film is definitely for you.

What's my favourite scene? It is when So-ri Moon's character imagines herself as a normal human being in front of Kyung-gu Sol's character. It also portrays how their love truly exists and how they long for each other even when their families disagree with their relationship and attempts to destruct it completely.

Love is for everyone even for these odd couple.

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Details

  • Movie: Oasis
  • Country: South Korea
  • Release Date: Aug 15, 2002
  • Duration: 2 hr. 12 min.
  • Content Rating: 18+ Restricted (violence & profanity)

Statistics

  • Score: 7.5 (scored by 593 users)
  • Ranked: #6269
  • Popularity: #6045
  • Watchers: 1,649

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