[Movie Review] In Our Prime(2022), showing the beauty of mathematics and life
On March 9th, 2022, the movie In Our Prime, directed by Park Dong-hoon, was released. Choi Min-sik, one of the best actors in Korea, and Kim Dong-hwi, a rising rookie, starred in the movie. The movie took the top of the box office on its release date.
The movie tells the story of Lee Hak-sung (Choi Min-sik), a genius mathematician who defected from North Korea and Han Ji-woo (Kim Dong-hwi), a high school student who gave up math. It takes place at a prestigious high school. Han Ji-woo, who cannot adjust to school, was having a lot of difficulties in math. His household situation was not good so he could not to go to a private academy, so all he could do was just study alone. One day, he finds out that a janitor of the school, Lee Hak-sung, is extremely good at math. Ji-woo asks him to teach him math. From then, for a carton of strawberry milk as a tuition fee, Ji-woo takes math lessons from Hak-sung every night.
This movie shows the beauty of mathematics to the audience through their math lessons. Hak-sung shows various aspects of mathematics so that Ji-woo, who is only looking for an answer, can get close to math. Pi(π) is made into sheet music and performed as a beautiful melody. The mystique of mathematical formulas is shown through various visual effects. This creative approach to mathematics attracts even audiences who are not interested in mathematics.
After it is revealed that Hak-sung is a genius mathematician who defected from North Korea, not an ordinary janitor, the movie also deals with the dark side of North Korean defections and education issues. It deals with the issue of illegal leakage of test papers sometimes occurring in Korea, and also points out the problem of Korean education, which focuses only on finding answers to the questions, instead of helping students enjoy the process of studying their subjects.
Through mathematics, the movie depicts our lives that resemble mathematics. Hak-sung reminds Ji-woo that what important is the process of finding the answer, not the answer itself. This applies to mathematics, but also our lives. Furthermore, he emphasizes that courage is the most important thing to succeed in life. This is probably a message that the director of the movie wanted to convey to the audience.
This movie is not provocative. Just like the flavor of the strawberry milk that comes out often in this movie, it expresses mathematics and our lives mildly and sweetly. The movie received a high rating of 8.09 from the audience.
76th Edition of The Monday Times (March 28, 2022)
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