Monday, September 17, 2007
There is one specific part of "Old Boy" that sticks in my head. It is when Dae-Su is imprisoned and assumes that there are other prisoners in rooms similar to his. Upon receiving three chopsticks for his meal, he thinks to himself: "My only thought was that the man next to me had only one chopstick." Dae-Su has absolutely no contact with any of the other prisoners, except perhaps through the CCTVs in the security room; and only after he has been released. In fact he probably has no concrete evidence of them during his imprisonment. What is his connection to these fellow imagined men he has never met? Why does he not free them? How are they connected by Robbins' texts and rituals, in this case perhaps television, the delivery of food, and the periodic gassing and haircut? Dae-Su is imprisoned in a small locality with fellow human beings, but seems to identify with the outside world.