Watch Oasis

"Love knows."
  • 2003
  • 2 hr 12 min
  • 7.8  (10,290)
  • 79

Oasis is a 2002 South Korean film directed by Lee Chang-dong about the unlikely romance between a man with cerebral palsy and a woman whose life is surrounded by prejudice and shame. The movie follows the story of Jong-du, a young man who is convicted of involuntary manslaughter and is released from prison after serving a three-year sentence. He has a mental disability and is not able to communicate clearly, but he is well-intentioned and eager to find a place in society. His family has abandoned him and he has no friends, except for an older brother who is also disabled and lives in a care home.

Jong-du wanders the city, hoping to see his family again, but eventually ends up at the home of the victim's family, where he meets Gong-ju, the victim's daughter. Gong-ju, who is also an outcast, is suffering from cerebral palsy and is unable to walk or speak clearly. Her family is ashamed of her disability, and they keep her confined to her room most of the time, treating her more like a burden than a daughter.

Despite their disabilities, Jong-du and Gong-ju form a deep, meaningful connection. Their relationship is unconventional and playful, breaking free from the shackles of societal norms and challenging the audience's prejudices. Through their relationship, we see both the hardships that people who are different face, and also how love can blossom in the most unexpected of places.

One of the most striking aspects of Oasis is the way it portrays the difficulties of living with disabilities. The actors who play the lead roles, Sol Kyung-gu and Moon So-ri, deliver nuanced and powerful performances that stay with you long after the film is over. They convey the frustration of not being able to do the simplest of things, such as opening a door or sitting up straight, as well as the joy of small victories, such as hearing someone laugh or feeling the warmth of the sun on their skin. They also show us the humanity that is often overlooked by society, reminding us that those who are different are still capable of love, empathy, and connection.

Another aspect of the film that stands out is its use of color and sound. Lee Chang-dong uses vivid colors, high-contrast lighting, and frenetic camera movements to create a sense of unease and urgency. The sound design is equally impressive, with moments of silence being just as impactful as moments of heightened noise. The overall effect is to draw us into the world of the characters and to make us feel their experiences in a visceral way.

There are moments of extreme discomfort in Oasis, as we witness the mistreatment of both Jong-du and Gong-ju by the people around them. The film deals with themes of discrimination, ableism, and mental illness in a way that is both honest and nuanced. At times, it can be difficult to watch, but it is also a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the love that can grow in even the darkest of places.

In conclusion, Oasis is a powerful and thought-provoking film that deals with complex themes in a sensitive and honest way. The performances of Sol Kyung-gu and Moon So-ri are outstanding, and the direction, sound design, and cinematography combine to create an immersive and impactful experience. It is a film that challenges our preconceptions and reminds us of the humanity that is shared by all of us, regardless of our differences.

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  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    2 hr 12 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.8  (10,290)
  • Metascore