Thursday, July 11, 2024


Those who hope "Melancholia" is a typical Korean romance, will be frustrated,  Those who appreciate a clever revenge against devious perpetrators will get more satisfaction.  Those who appreciate advanced mathematics will have a bit to feed on.  Personally I found it engaging with many relationships inter-twined.

The initial setting is an elite high school where many of the students are children of wealthy or politically powerful people.  Cheating is normal.  Noh Jung Ah  is a manipulator on behalf of the wealthy and is a key element in a cheating experience on behalf of a powerful parent and covering it by framing innocent people.  A revealing quote "Do you know how to get what you want the easy way?  Instead of saying what you want you listen to what the other person wants" 

First five or so episodes are about abuse and the remainder are  about revenge.  Relationships had been ruined.  Revenge was planned to be as agonizing as the victims had felt.  The self righteous cheaters thought they were doing good, by protecting the wealthy and powerful  i.e. the most deserving.  Strange bedfellows work together, but the opposition is well entrenched.  Redemption occurs for some characters       

Advanced Mathematics is highlighted as a tool.   One student and one teacher are very enthused, but both are relatively honest and powerless and are framed in a coverup.   One interesting angle was to  tie Van Gogh into a mathematical analogy.  At a later point.  Mathematics is truth, but has gotten buried by the cheating. Above all the two main characters  find math intellectually challenging.  

There are lots of different relationships portrayed  involving parents, students, teachers, donors, and politicians.  iI is well put together

Here are some of the contributors.

Ang-hyub Kim was the director.  He has 9 director credits.

Ji Woon Kim wrote the script.  He has 2 writing credits.

Lee Hye-young was an executive producer.  He has 9 credits as producer including "Queen of Tears" (2024).  See

Park Se joon was responsible for he music.  He has 5 composer credits including "Little Women" (2022).  See

Lee Do-hyun plays Baek Sung yoo as a young promising mathematician and later as mature successful mathematician.  He has 15 acting credits including "The Glory" (2022-2023) and "The Good Bad Mother" (2023).  See

Lim Soo-jung plays Ji Yoon Soo, a teacher who encouraged Baek Sung yoo and helped other student.  An honest person who ran up against corruption.  Before films she modeled for magazine ads.    She has 23 acting credits. 

Jin Kyung plays Noh Jung Ah  the principle of a high end high school.  She is the evil maniplator that makes the plot.  She has the most dramatic range of all the characters.  Jin has 40 acting credits including "Glove" (2011), "Assassination" (2015), "Extraordinary Attorney Woo" (2022) and "Queenmaker" (2023).  See

 Choi Dae-hoon plays Ryo Sung  Jae, the fiance of Ji Yoon Soo.  He has 25 acting credits including "Crash Landing on You" (2019), "Flower pf Evil" (2020) and  "Extraordinary Attorney Woo" (2022).  See

Oh Gwang-Rok played Ji Hyun-Wook the father to Ji Yoon Soo.  He has 29 acting credit including "Oldboy" (2003)

Paul Battle plays Professor Adolf Miller, an American mathematicians.  Born in British Columbia he went to Korea to teach English and got involved with educational videos for schools.  He left for North America, but a few years later he saw a chance to get involved with film features.  Speaking Korean gives him opportunities which gave him 21 acting credits including "Vincenzo" (2021) and "You are My Spring" (2021).

"Melancholia" can seen on Netflix with subtitles.

As usual I have bolded the first mention of films I have seen.  They are not necessarily recommendation, but generally found them worthy of my time.  If you follow the links you should be able to determine if a particular film is worth following up.

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