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‘Pachinko’ is Apple TV+’s great tribute to Korean women

Pachinko only briefly related to the popular Japanese video game, with the exception of the gambling pastime, its story is a tale of chance, victory, and misfortune that befalls a family due to bad luck. forces beyond their control. Showrunner Soo Hugh and directors Kogonada and Justin Chon made an eight-part adaptation of Min Jin Lee’s hit 2017 novel that recounts the generations of a Korean clan besieged by oppression and repression. of Japan in both the fishing village of Yeongdo and in Osaka, where they eventually had to move elsewhere. Like many modern streaming endeavors, it can come off as offensive. However, at its best – which often happens – it presents a moving portrait of the complex experiences Koreans (and women in particular) endured under colonial rule. , and the consequences that these challenges have for not only themselves but also their descendants and Korea’s national character.

Beginning in 1915 Korea was occupied by Japan, Pachinko (March 25) revolves around Sunja (Jeon Yu-na), who was born to a hardworking mother and a father with a dark cleft lip, whose passing is a great loss to the young girl. Teenager Sunja grew up in a country where slandering Japanese people is a serious crime, when she learned when one of the men living at her mother’s boarding house showed a pouty lips during a night of drinking. , and was kidnapped by the authorities for his misconduct. The ominous threat of incarceration, alienation, and worse still haunts Sunja for the rest of her story, which soon passes 9 years to find her a young woman (Kim Min- ha) work at the bustling fish market. There, she scouts – and is attracted – to Koh Hansu (Lee Min-ho), a powerful and connoisseur fish broker with obvious ties to the underworld. A romance blossomed, which resulted in pregnancy, though there was no happily ever after, as Hansu was married and had no intention of turning an honest woman away from his mistress.

At the same time, it details Sunja’s pre-World War II hardships, Pachinko sat himself in 1989 with Solomon (Jin Ha), grandson of Sunja (played in this period, Oscar winner Minari star Youn Yuh-jung), who trained in the US and worked for a bank did not undervalue him. To secure the promotion he deserves, he joins the company’s Japan office, where he plans to convince a landowner named Mrs. Han to sell his property. As if that commitment wasn’t challenging enough, Solomon also begins receiving phone calls from Hana (Mari Yamamoto), his ex-girlfriend, who has disappeared and is rumored to be working the streets of the city. Street — a situation that greatly worries Hana’s mother Etsuko (Kaho Minami), the second wife of Solomon’s father, Mozasu (Soji Arai), the owner of a local pachinko bakery.

Solomon’s efforts to convince Mrs. Han to give up her land (for $1 million) involve multiple themes — of inheritance, responsibility, honor, independence, and exploitation — throughout. Pachinko. However, that doesn’t change the fact that this thread is pulled too thin, and thus the most obvious example of a downside to Hugh, Kogonada and Chon’s patient approach, which is sometimes cost the procedure a measure of considerable urgency. Much more reassuring are the passages concerning Sunja in Yeongdo and later in Osaka, where she takes up residence under the courtesy of Isak (Steve Sanghyun Noh), a pastor she saved her life, and who pay that debt by marrying her — thus helping her to forgive. from the shameful life of single motherhood. Their relationship is one forged by compassion and selflessness, and it is tested by countless obstacles and trials, most of which stem from discrimination by the Japanese and identity crisis problems born of such monstrosity.

“Kim evokes the tenderness, fear, and innocence of young Sunja, as well as her toughness and determination, while Youn embodies the wisdom, remorse, and guilt of her current character. was old for having survived while so many others did not.”

Through Sunja and her similarly besieged teammates (most notably sister-in-law Kyunghee, played by Jung Eun-chae and Felice Choi of different ages), Pachinko celebrates the strength and resilience of 20th-century Korean women, whose lives are frequently shaped by fragmentation, distortion, and the devil. Kim evokes the tenderness, fear, and innocence of young Sunja, as well as her toughness and determination, while Youn embodies the wisdom, remorse, and guilt of her current character. has grown old for having survived while so many others have not. A wish that Magnetic Youn had a little more to offer throughout these eight installments. However, her 1989 narrative – which constantly has her help and concern, Solomon – is in some ways the crux of the material, tying the series’ ideas together about the burden of the weight of history on both young and old, the weight of passed expectations passed down from generation to generation, the primacy of age-old rituals and customs, and the process of self-formation. settle down in a land that is not your own, and despise you as a second-class citizen.

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Oscar winner Youn Yuh-jung in Pachinko

Apple TV +

The tension between personal ambition and communal ties, as well as between selfishness and sacrifice, is frequently at the forefront of the series, which weaves its tapestry with an ingenuity that never now tarnished by exposure. When Pachinko not lyrical in his own style like his recent film After Yang—Thanks to the more conventional episodic format — Kogonada’s management remains light, graceful, and empathetic, and co-director Chon imbued the action with a profound reverence for those difficulties that these main characters overcame. In openly and subtly interspersed ways, they convey the complexities of these socio-political times to Koreans at home and abroad, possibly through color-coded subtitles to match Koreans. dialogue between Korean and Japanese, or through Solomon’s confusing feelings of honoring those who came before him, indignant at the fact that he could never match the suffering of them (and should be forever grateful for that), and wanted to be their own man while remaining loyal to their loved ones.

Pachinko moves gracefully between its chosen decades, embedding key moments in these individuals’ lives as a means of emphasizing their shared passions, successes, and dreams . Surprisingly, despite ending with a non-fiction coda about real-life elderly Korean women who immigrate to Japan at a young age, the series ends with many loose ends, suggesting that the sequel The second is likely to appear in the cards. With these compelling characters and this compelling storytelling, that would be a welcome change.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/pachinko-is-apple-tvs-stunning-tribute-to-korean-women?source=articles&via=rss ‘Pachinko’ is Apple TV+’s great tribute to Korean women

Russell Falcon

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