Podcast: The Wailing, Queen of Katwe – Extra Film
This week on the InSession Film Podcast: Extra Film segment, we discuss the Korean horror film The Wailing and Disney’s latest “inspired by a true story” sports film, Queen of Katwe.
We apologize to those hardy defenders of The Wailing, because as you’ll see below, this film for us wasn’t the grand master stroke of cinema many claimed it to be. It’s a good film but we had some rather significant issues with the film that we hope comes through in our discussion. If you’re a huge lover of the film, we hope this isn’t a deal breaker.
On that note, have fun listening to this week’s Extra Film segment and let us know what you think in the comment section below. Hope you enjoy and thanks for listening!
– The Wailing Movie Review (6:08)
– Queen of Katwe Movie Review (36:45)
If I Ever Had A Heart – Emily Wells
Mbilo Mbilo – Eddie Kenzo
The Return of the Eagle – Atli Örvarsson
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The Wailing, Queen of Katwe – Extra Film
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You guys criticized “The Wailing” for being both incoherent and too obvious, but I think the film is very interested in the ways people attempt to explain the unknown or the unexplainable, and I think this is credibly reflected in the absolute confusion of the characters and the various viewer interpretations that have greeted the film. It seems like you both saw the same things that others have, but what comes across as messy and incoherent to you is working as something more intriguing and intentionally ambiguous for other viewers.
I had a much different reaction regarding the shaman. By the end, I think he was probably working with the Japanese man from the beginning, so I believe there’s certainly motivation for his actions at the end. His dialogue regarding a “trap” certainly seems to be setting up how things play out. Others have even pointed out his driving on the left side of the road and his undergarments matching the Japanese man’s as possible clues as well (I buy the latter but not so much the former, although it is an interesting observation).
I also had such a vastly difference response to that first scene between Jong-goo and the girl in white. He’s still a cop, so even if this girl initially seems like some crazy weirdo, I don’t see why he wouldn’t listen if she starts telling him specific info relating to the incident. I admit to completely missing the Biblical reference made with her stone throwing, though. As someone who is not especially knowledgeable about any religion, I think it’s a nice touch, but I can understand how it’s probably another moment that plays as too on-the-nose for you guys.
I just discovered your podcast through this discussion and will be following it from now on. Also, have you guys heard of “Train to Busan,” which is another Korean genre film (albeit a much different one) that’s received a good amount of attention this year?
Hey, thanks for the comment. I agree the film is interested in the characters trying to find rational explanations for these weird events. And don’t get me wrong, it’s not the incoherencey or the ambiguity itself that is my problem, it’s that Na tries to evoke emotion out of the audience which feels cheap when nothing is explored with lucidity. I would have love this film’s ambiguous nature if Na committed to it fully. But if that worked for you (and clearly it did for others too), that’s great!
Regarding the Shaman, that is way too of stretch for me personally. Even if that was Na’s intent, none of the Shaman’s actions reflect that connection. However, I respect your interpretation and trying to offer something that makes of everything.
As for the girl in white, that’s fair enough. It just felt really contrived to me. I understand the notion that he would listen to details about the case, but the build up to that sudden turn was obvious and odd for us. But it’s a fair point nonetheless, especially narratively. That scene eventually starts to connect some of the dots.
Thanks for listening and thanks again for the comment. We fully acknowledge we are in the minority on this, so I’m glad you enjoyed the film. We have heard of TRAIN TO BUSAN and it’s one I would love to cover on Extra Film as well. Have you seen it? I’m hoping to catch up soon.
Awesome, thanks for the response. I have seen “Train to Busan” and I personally loved it. It’s well-paced and exciting, but what really surprised me was how emotionally engaged I was. There seem to be two major complaints from those who thought it was just another zombie flick, though – the melodramatic aspects and stock character types/behavior. I didn’t have those problems because I felt the characters were rather efficiently established and played by an excellent cast that helped make them all feel recognizably human, even when they were making questionable decisions. The zombie thrills are certainly well-delivered, but it’s the film’s sincere interest in humanity that made it something more special for me.
Great to hear, I hope to catch it soon! I’m okay with melodramatic if the film earns that emotion dramatically. And it sounds like the characters easily make all that work. Can’t wait to see it! Thanks again for the comment! 🙂