The Box – Review

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At the end of the duration, The Box shows Park Chanyeol, not as Ji-hoon (the character he plays) but himself, performing a song in the studio. Regular appearance recording. It is not part of the story, nor is it packed with “various” artistic touches. But the majority of the audience screamed hysterically. There I realized that this film (which was released less than a week before the actor enlisted in the military) was made especially for EXO-L (EXO fans), or more specifically, for Yeolmaes (Park Chanyeol’s booth).

On the other hand, casual viewers will not feel the “sting of feeling”, as when fans are lulled by each camera closely shooting Chanyeol’s face. In fact, the work of Yang Jung-woong as director and scriptwriter, carries an interesting premise, and has the potential to give birth to an emotional talk about “getting out of your box”. Best Movie Site

The Box
The Box

Ji-hoon is a talented musician. His voice is melodious, his guitar playing is capable. But there was one problem: he was incapable of doing music in front of people. So acute was his stage fright, Ji-hoon could even faint on stage. This condition was caused by childhood trauma, where the father often committed acts of violence against the mother, as well as against her favorite music… or something.

I have no idea. As a film about prolonged trauma, The Box tends to be “stingy” in sharing stories. Minimal excavation was carried out, where the flashback moment only appeared briefly a few times, which, if totaled, would not touch three minutes. It is true that we know the outline of the cause. But “knowing” is not necessarily “understanding”, let alone “feeling it.” Similar to its character, every time fear strikes, the film must be able to throw the audience’s mind towards the event that triggers the mental condition, so that sympathy, or even empathy, grows. That process didn’t happen.

The script is too hasty in almost every way. Apart from the protagonist’s psychic dynamics, his relationship with Min-soo (Jo Dal-hwan), a talented former producer who is now in debt, is just as weak. Suddenly we get to the point where Min-soo accidentally hears Ji-hoon singing. Suddenly, the two of them had come up with the idea that to get over Ji-hoon’s stage fright, he had to sing in a refrigerator box. Everything was sudden, without adequate process. Jung-woong’s narrative tempo is quite slow, but the progress of the script’s story is moving (too) fast. Out of sync. Movie Review

Of course, the weakness of the script in a musical film can be forgiven if it has quality music sequences. In addition to the original soundtracks, the film contains popular numbers, namely Bad Guy, A Sky Full of Stars, Happy, What a Wonderful World, and others, which make it quite easy for the casual audience to enjoy the musical. Unfortunately, matters of creativity, the director’s modeling is far from consistent. Bad Guy is presented quite imaginatively, as well as the climax featuring dozens of drummers. My favorite is What a Wonderful World, when Ji-hoon has a duet with a blind singer named Nana (Kim Ji-hyun). There Jung-woong shows off his sensitivity, when the harmonization of the two musicians is able to make them see a more colorful world, which no “box” is able to block.

The rest is just a mediocre musical line, without any charming aesthetics, which is even less entertaining than seeing the performance of idol groups on television music shows. A good musical scene is not just a compilation of songs, but a part of the plot that brings the character to the process. The Box doesn’t (always) do that, so even though Chanyeol has delivered the maximum possible acting, the emotional impact failed to convey properly.

But back again, The Box did run according to its basic goal, namely satisfying Park Chanyeol’s fans. If there is no jealousy when Nana gropes Ji-hoon’s face to find out how handsome he is, it means that you (and I) are not the target market for this film. Top Movie

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