While conducting research in preparation for my post about prequel of Anne of Green Gables, I stumbled on Oseam, and the plot intrigued me. Over the last five days I’ve been working on this post about the film.
Synopsis: Adapted from a popular Korean fairy tale, the story revolves around a struggling pair of orphaned siblings named Ga-mi (she is blind) and Gil-son. The two discover more about life, and their place within it as they attempt to overcome their sorrow, and acclimate to living alongside the monks who have taken them in.
Director: Baek-Yeop Sung
Screenplay: Min-yong Choi, Seo-kyeong Lee
Original Novel: Chae-bong Jeong
Cinematography: Seong-cheol Mun
Original Music: Ho-jeong Kang
The first thing that struck me was wonderfully painted backgrounds. The level of detail varied with the distance, but many pictures had an impressionist aura in them. The colors themselves were amazing. This is one of the few films that depicted the beauty of the Autumn very well. Clear blue sky, red leaves, yellow fields, magical sunsets, and even snow later in the film – everything emanated warm light. The girl was painted with soft earth colors, reflecting her personality, and the boy had a green shirt with a bright orange scarf, emphasizing his youth and enthusiasm.
The composition of the images was excellent as well. The shots were well balanced and featured a wide variety of perspectives. The director really loves rule of thirds, and I especially liked group shots that highlighted the underlying dynamics of the scenes.
Voice acting was great also. The girl’s voice was very soft and calm, yet somewhat sad. Korean language sounds very nice – it might be next on my list after Japanese 🙂
I have some reservations about animation of this film. While the movement is quite fluid and various techniques are employed throughout the movie, most of them are unnecessary. Why do you need a “matrix moment” in a very minor scene? Some of the animation techniques felt inappropriate for certain scenes and reduced overall enjoyment of the film.
The most controversial part of the film is the plot. This film features some religious themes, and while it is not as pushy as some Disney animated movies, staunch atheists might not like it. Also some events just don’t follow very well and don’t make sense if you think about them. However, if you are willing to experience the film without being too critical, allowing yourself to go with your emotions, you’ll enjoy it. Overall, I recommend you to see this film, just keep in mind that it is very sad and you might cry watching it – I did.
The following is a photoessay on the film that contains spoilers. If you would rather not be spoiled, watch the film and come back to see the shots and voice your opinion. Checking out the first few shots might give you an impression what the movie looks like.