Oasis (2002) is a must-watch Korean movie but not a re-watch movie (at least for me) because there were many aspects of it that I found disturbing and even repulsive. But I’m glad (and grateful) that I watched it because the acting is so superb it makes me want to weep for joy that I’ve discovered Kmovies. Certainly a most unforgettable film. I didn’t sleep well thinking about it.
Moon So-ri‘s portrayal of a cerebral palsy sufferer in Oasis is so realistic it was painful to watch. I cringed yet kept on watching. I wanted to close my eyes but kept them open. I was transfixed yet felt guilty, because my transfixion bordered on morbid fascination, as if I was deriving entertainment from that which cannot, and should not, be entertaining.
Wherefore my mixed feelings about this movie?
First, I didn’t feel uplifted at all during the dream sequences when Han Gong-ju (Moon So-ri) fantasizes about being normal. On the contrary, they just hammer home the sad and pitiful truths about her real world. It’s like having a very sweet dream and then waking up to find that it’s just a dream. The sense of letdown and disappointment is immense.
Second, the attempted rape scene at the beginning. I just could not recover from watching that. I was probably overreacting, but that scene simply illustrates how base and lowdown Hong Jong-du (Sol Kyung-gu) is. Remember he was also previously imprisoned for attempted rape? Yes, so he’s subsequently really tender and sweet with her (love the hair-washing and hair-drying scenes!), but somehow I could not help thinking: This is not a person you can trust implicitly.
Thus, that scene of consummation still felt like rape to me. Yes, she wants him to do it, but notice how quickly he undresses and gets into bed with her? Yes, he’s mindful about not hurting her since it’s her first time, but there is no emotional buildup (foreplay or whatever else we call it) at all.
I was thinking: What if they hadn’t been interrupted in the act? What if he hadn’t been caught and incarcerated? I think every time they meet henceforth they will be doing “it.” I don’t think he is mentally capable of thinking beyond the act. I mean, what if she gets pregnant?
I know I sound like such a prude, but those were the honest and raw feelings I had watching Oasis. But those feelings aside, I felt Oasis was such a depressing movie. (I realize now many people will disagree, because to them Oasis is beautiful and uplifting, a story of overcoming [inner] demons and disabilities, a love story so striking and brave for its indictment against the prejudices of this world.) It’s not a movie that restores your faith in people. It’s a sad, sad movie. But Moon So-ri and Sol Kyung-gu’s acting is so unbelievably GOOD. For the goosebumps they (and their story) gave me, I will always remember Oasis.