I received the settlement money and entered the ‘dream palace’, but the reality is…

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The Palace 73. This is the name of an apartment that has recently attracted attention through a pre-sale advertisement. The catchphrase of the controversy was: “Dedicated to you who always dream of an unequal world.”

The blatant praise of inequality has puzzled many. However, it has been a long time since differentiation has been established as a marketing strategy in the era of consuming images that are no longer necessary. If you live in ‘Castle’, you become aristocrat, in ‘Zai’, you can enjoy “an extraordinary life”, and in ‘Brownstone’, you can enjoy the “lifestyle of the upper class in the eastern United States.” Even this is not enough, just ‘Raemian’ and ‘Raemian Firstige’ are different. Since the beginning of the 21st century, when unknown names began to be attached to apartments, this distinction has dominated the housing style in Korea.

Therefore, the problem with that rumored phrase is not so much the content of the message as it is the way it is expressed. By transparently displaying the desires that had been hidden in attractive packaging, it exposed the fact that the market’s differentiation strategy ultimately presupposes “an unequal world.” Thanks to that, it gave a strange sense of fear to those who wanted to turn away from that desire or were at a loss as to how to deal with it. In addition, the place where ‘The Palace 73’ will be located is Banpo, Seocho-gu, Seoul. Only 73 households can ‘enter’ officetels and apartments ranging from 10 billion won to 40 billion won per building. The dream of inequality revealed in this ad is not just a publicity bluff. It is the most vulgar corner of the road to hell that has already arrived.

The Palace and Dream Palace

Ironically, at the same time, <Dream Palace> by director Ka Sung-moon was released. What would it be like if the words “to you who dream of an unequal world” were added to “Dream Palace”? An unsold apartment complex in a desolate new town on the outskirts of Gyeonggi-do. A place where the builder does not even repair the defect because the house has not been sold. Dream Palace may have been a ‘dream palace’ for some. If so, that frivolity would not have come so threatening. Of course, it may not have even received attention in the first place. Because attention is not evenly distributed.

Dream Palace, a high-rise apartment complex that stretches straight toward the sky. There, Hye-jeong (Kim Seon-yeong), who has just moved in, is busy decorating her new house. He lost her husband to a semiconductor factory fire accident two years ago. She, along with other bereaved families, set up a tent in front of the company headquarters and held a sit-in demanding an investigation into the truth and compensation for the damage, but nothing was resolved. Even her comrades did not hide their suspicion that Hye-jeong’s husband might be responsible for the accident from the beginning. Hye-jeong, unable to bear it, eventually left the farmhouse after receiving the settlement money the company had offered. Because of that, she became friends with Soo-in (메이저사이트Lee Yun-ji), whom she depended on, and no longer spoke to her.

Hyejeong used the money to purchase a ticket to move into the Dream Palace. Her son Dong-wook (Choi Min-young) resents her mother for selling his father to buy a house. Hye-jeong explains to Dong-wook that she left them because she believed her father was innocent. It’s unclear if that’s true. It could have been because of money, or it could have been because they were tired of sleeping together. She or she may have wanted to show other bereaved families an example. Hyejeong is a person who thinks she will pick up the trash she threw away, but then just leaves, and even though she takes good care of others, at some point, she becomes infinitely cruel. Because she is a multi-layered person, it is difficult for her to fully understand him.

Still, one thing is clear. Hyejeong wanted to start her new life in her new apartment. But a clean start, cut off from her past, is just her fantasy. The difficulties of her life lead from the past to the present along with the rust water gushing out of the faucet on the first day she moved in. The construction company insists that it cannot repair defects in the unsold state, and at the residents’ meeting, if it is known that there are defects in the house, it will interfere with the sale, and urges them to be quiet. Hye-jeong works hard to solve the rust and rectify her messy life, but the more she does, the worse the situation becomes. Dirty ocher-colored water sweeps away the present time and entangles the past to escape.

Victim and perpetrator ‘Exploration of human nature’

‘Dream Palace’ is Korean society itself, where people lose their lives due to charter fraud on one side, and on the other side, a house worth 40 billion won will make you special. It looks shiny on the outside, but rust water flows inside, and garbage that hasn’t been cleaned up is piled up in the basement. Inside, people who believe that “I have to protect my house price” are crowded. The contractor who planned and built the complex is not bothered by even the minimum amount of effort, and the frustration and anxiety that filled this space grow gradually while eating the absurdity of Korean society. It’s not just the house, though. Hye-jeong’s life stands on layers of injustice, and even Hye-jeong herself cannot be said to be innocent or harmless.

Even after several days of watching the movie, the face of Kim Seon-yeong, who played Hye-jeong, is unforgettable. On a land where houses and people are judged only by price, the scenery has dried up, and on that barren land, a human face with a thousand stories wanders in dismay. He is both a victim and an aggressor. In fact, everyone does. The company that preyed on her husband, the construction case that crushed my dream of owning a house, power endures to the end while tearing apart those who have become vulnerable. In the end, the victims hurt each other unintentionally, and the personal sincerity they spit out because they want to pierce their breath sometimes leads to irreversible results.

<Dream Palace> breaks away from the frame of ‘pure victim’ by focusing on the face of a specific individual without erasing the problem of the structure maintained by producing damage and the power that parasitizes it. It is an elegant criticism of how shallow the stereotype of victimhood imposed by society is, but more precisely, it is a fundamental exploration of the humanity that composes this society. The director doesn’t simplify the complex, but he doesn’t hesitate in front of the story he wants to tell. Even in an era when people are so brazen as to be bold, such courage is not common. And it is the face of Sunyoung Kim that materializes the courage of this complexity.

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