‘Gokseong’ aka ‘The Wailing’, a Korean film directed by Na Hong-jin, works infinitely further on the horror genre to create a cinematic piece that is shrouded in mystery. This is a film that is open to various interpretations, and is certainly not your relaxed weekend watch.
The film stars Kwak Do-won as Jong-goo, a South Korean police officer leading an idle and uneventful existence in a village beside the mountains. When a Japanese man arrives at the village, things go topsy-turvy, and quite a few corpses start lying around.
Hong-jin builds up an air of dread and fear and renders his protagonist a frail man, who is helpless in the hands of an ominous power, that threatens to usurp his happy world any moment.
There will be the questions and discussions that follow every screening of the film, and while it peripherally appears a familiar tale of conflict between the good and the evil, ‘The Wailing’ probably requires repeated viewing to unearth the clues that the film maker has left all around. Its a challenging film without doubt, and one that holds splendid rewards in store.
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