I just watched ‘The Silenced’ again because a good pal kidafohs was so kind as to share subtitles with me so thinking of my post, I figured a quick correction might be in order. Like I said before I know enough words in Korean to be counted on one hand so that post was all from what I saw but not what heard and understood. Now I have to warn you, those subs were horrendous! So much so that even without understanding Korean I knew when the translations were wrong. But sometimes these subs are the best when they say something you wish they would say even if they might be wrong.
Still, one has got to be very grateful because even if they not perfect, I still understood what was going on about 60% more than I did without them. Believe it or not the subtitles cranked up the yuri to the point that I was surprised at the gayness! Without subs unless one dealt in goggles they wouldn’t think this movie a legit yuri movie but that changes completely with the subs. You won’t need goggles with subtitles. This of course means that I have to get this when it comes out on DVD (One can’t tell about Blu-rays when it comes to Korea). I will probably look for the Taiwanese Version. They have the best subtitles.
Isn’t it a nice time we live in where you can buy a Korean movie from either Japan or Taiwan or Murica?
When I was watching the movie with subs, I found that I may have made mistakes that need to be straightened out. The first being that I mentioned that the movie took place in Japan. I was wrong for it did not take place in Japan. Though I am not 100% sure on this one, the movie takes place in Korea but in a time when Japan was in power. One thing I got right was that the school was a huge laboratory experiment for the Japanese Army. The girls were mentioning Tokyo a lot because there was a competition to take the two best girls to go and live in Tokyo and Yuka and Yeon-deok were the believed to be the two to be chosen.
Speaking of this, the talk that Joo-ran and Yeon-deok had on the grounds right before Joo-ran did that crazy jump to show off the strange way her body was changing, was about this. Joo-ran wanted to know why Yeon-deok was working so hard to go to Tokyo especially since Yeon-deok never talked about it as much as the other girls. Yeon-deok tells her why and Joo-ran mentions how everyone is expecting it to be her and Yuka that are chosen. Joo-ran says that she wants to be the one to go with Yeon-deok. Doesn’t Yeon-deok want her too? I don’t know if that last one was a mistake or not but I took it as it was. If there was a confession in this movie this was it. But it was a bad time, especially with Yeon-deok as everything about Joo-ran was reminding her of her dead Lover (not really but oh well).
That is another thing I missed without subs. The girls have two names, they have the Japanese names and the Korean names. Joo-ran’s Japanese name was ‘Shizuko’ which as a twist of fate was also the same name of Yeon-deok’s dead friend (that she was originally thinking of going with to Tokyo). This name similarity I guess was what started the crazy of Yeon-deok being reminded of the dead Shizuko as Joo-ran turned weirder. That confession came at this time when Yeon-deok was a bit lost as she was reminded of the past and Joo-ran was turning into something more than human.
With the subs I also understood some other things that didn’t even require words like how Yeon-deok was basically the Joo-ran in her relationship with Shizuko. She was the one acting weird (read making the moves on Shizuko). Speaking of acting weird, that scene under the covers when Joo-ran snuck into Yeon-deok’s bed totally went over my head the first time, what with Joo-ran exhaling into Yeon-deok’s face who had this dead-pan look on her face. It made no sense to me. But then with subs everything made sense. Joo-ran was showing off her improvements in her health by showing Yeon-deok how clean her breath was (by breathing in her face) and saying that it was thanks to Yeon-deok. She had no idea why but she knew it was because of her. Yeon-deok was only surprised by how bold (strange) Joo-ran was acting. Did you catch that smile she flashed as Joo-ran left her bed (why did you leave)? I think that was the best smile Yeon-deok gave the whole movie.
There are other great moments of truth when you watch with the subs but I will leave those to your to find yourselves as you watch. The subs just make everything better, especially the yuri! Hell, it even confirmed my preferred interpretation of the ending! Joo-ran and Yeon-deok both did not have a home to return to. It was why Yeon-deok was working so hard to be the one to go to Tokyo so she could finally have a better life. Meanwhile Joo-ran was sent to the school by her Step-Mother, her real mother having died from the same sickness she had so they were afraid it was infectious and thus they sent her away.
So knowing this and then hearing that line Joo-ran says at the end before she dies – ‘We can finally go home Yeon-deok’ and then showing us the two in that secret room where they listen to music together and look so happy, well, how can I call this a BAD END? Sure they died but they died together! And with both having had each other in their thoughts as they did, they are so going to end up together in the afterlife! Before Yeon-deok died, she was thanking Joo-ran for everything and was literally looking at her as she lay there on the surgical bed. I am pretty sure the after-image (frozen reflection in a dead person’s eye) is of Joo-ran. Joo-ran was holding Yeon-deok and speaking to her as she died too so both of them were thinking of each other. So I think of this as not a BAD END but actually a BEST END. They are basically together forever now and that can’t be beat with the movie ending with two girls confessing and kissing and living! You aren’t sure of their future, something might happen the next day, people change, especially their emotions so seeing those emotions frozen forever I consider ‘The Silenced’ ending BEST END.
I know I am crazy!
And so that’s that, just a quick update on the movie after I saw it with subs. I will of course watch it again with better subs when they are available, hopefully with the DVDs. Taiwan never lets down in that department when they do release and really, I am not worried about this one. It is kind of like the Whispering Corridors or Death Bell series and people love those. Actually I have high expectations of a Bu-ray of this too. Murica is sure to be over this too so 100% subs incoming.