2019 is my final year at UOW and I only had to pick a bunch of electives to complete my degree. Going through the list I found a neat little subject that watches movies as an assignment! How neat is that! Coming from a field which writes research reports and calculates numbers, writing blogs is a whole new playing field.
I’m an Asian Australian that was exposed to a lot of different cultures through family, media and of course food. I’ve went through the “Koreaboo” phases in high school and currently the “Weeb” phase… unfortunately. I’m no stranger to international films but critiquing films and drawing on my experiences is new to me.
We were asked to live-tweet about the film and the experience we felt throughout the screening. This is completely new to me and my view is limited, but I’ve spoken during movies, so I guess its kind of the same thing. (Sorry). The film had many interesting moments that ranged from comedy, politics and bad CGI horror.
From the get-go there was a showing of imbalance of power between two nations. America and South Korea. The imbalance of power is through both Legitimate Power and Expert Power. According to Raven 2008 legitimate power comes from a position or role, someone that is in a position of authority or higher ranked that can give orders to others. Expert power is having the knowledge or expertise in a field that others can rely on you to give valid expertise on (Raven, 2008).
During the opening scene we see two surgeons, an American and a Korean. The American surgeon uses his legitimate power of higher ranked surgeon to order the Korean surgeon (Mr. Kim) to pour toxic chemicals down a drain. Of course, Mr. Kim knows this isn’t the right thing to do but the American surgeon uses his expert power by telling Mr. Kim that the Han river is a big river, and everything will be alright.
Later into the film, Park Gang-doo was captured and contained in a facility and was met by an American and Korean translating doctor. The American doctor uses his expert power and first says the virus is now in Park Gang-doo brain but then explains to the Korean doctor (as well as Park) that there actually is no virus. The American doctor uses his Legitimate and expert Power of higher ranked doctor to continue with the operation to remove the “virus”. No-one would question him since he is in a role of authority and in a field where great expertise is needed.
I look forward to the upcoming films that I will be watching, and I hope I can broaden my horizon and critique better.
Raven, B. (2008). The Bases of Power and the Power/Interaction Model of Interpersonal Influence. Analyses Of Social Issues And Public Policy, 8(1), 1-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-2415.2008.00159.x