- 1 hr 50 min
Cart is a 2014 South Korean film that addresses the critical issue of labor exploitation and depicts how the ordinary working-class people are standing up against their employers for their rights. The movie showcases the heroic struggles and resilience of female temporary workers who have been unjustly fired from their jobs at a supermarket in Seoul after attempting to unionize.
The protagonist of the movie, Sun-hee (Yum Jung-Ah), had been working hard at the Mart Supermarket for five years. Her life took a dramatic turn when the company management decided to lay off her and her colleagues without any prior notice. Sun-hee, who is a single mother taking care of her young son and widowed mother, is devastated by the news of her unexpected dismissal. She doesn't know how she will support her family without her job.
Desperate, Sun-hee joins her fellow female temporary workers who are also struggling with unemployment and financial strain. They plead their cause to the supermarket's corrupt and domineering management, but their concerns are ignored and dismissed. With no other options left, the women decide to form a union and begin a peaceful protest in front of the store, demanding their job security and fair employment.
However, their conduct is met with physical intimidation and violent harassment from the company's security and hired thugs. The women brave the brutality of the security guards and their adverse living conditions, facing constant threats by management and physical abuse. Despite the obstacles against them, the women stand firm, persevering for their cause and fighting against oppressive corporations.
The movie subtly highlights the struggles and untold stories of many of the world's working-class people who face exploitation and abuse regularly. It portrays how a romanticized notion of how the free market functions - often celebrated in mainstream media and business elites - fails to account for the lives of people who have no alternative but to sell their labor power to survive.
Cart offers an unflinching portrayal of the reality of life for temporary workers, who are easily dispensable and exploitable, with little or no job security. The movie portrays the importance of working-class solidarity and unionism. Unions play a significant role as they offer workers some level of protection and negotiation power against oppressive employers.
The outstanding performance of the cast is a testament to the story's strength, with strong and powerful acting, conveying the women's struggles and vulnerability in a convincing and remarkable manner. Yum Jung-Ah and Moon Jeong-Hee shine through their portrayal of the Two Sun-Hees, two workers with the same name in the mart who have different union experiences. Yeong-ae Kim's dynamic performance as the union leader helps invigorate the film's message.
Director Boo Ji-Young brings the story to life with his enchanting cinematography and artistic direction. The camera angles used in the movie are breathtaking while paying attention to the smallest details. Every scene, whether of protest or conflict, is beautifully shot and strikingly well-edited. The music is well crafted for the scenes, capturing both the tension and poignancy of the film.
In conclusion, Cart is a remarkable film that accurately depicts the struggles of the working-class people and the ongoing exploitation they face. The symbolism of the women's struggles transcends specific workplace situations and illustrates the greater struggle against labor exploitation worldwide. The movie is an essential watch for anyone who wishes to gain a better understanding of the sinister exploits of profit-driven corporations at the expense of ordinary people.
Cart is a 2014 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 50 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7.