Oldboy & Issues in Mass Media

Hello ~ everybody, nice to see you all again on my blog. How are you today? Are you good? What about on Saturday? Anyone traps in April Fools Day joke? I saw many things on that day and I use all of my brain power to figure out which is fact and which is fake which April Fools Day is all about fake but fun right? 🙂 I saw some news organization create a fake news for engaging with April Fools Day too but it does not create any big issue because we are a little bit aware of a joke on that day but only that special day that you can see fake things in media?

I have learned that many media can trick you to overlook the fact, indirectly command, and it can make us believe in the wrong thing. That is the sample of the issue in media nowadays which affect us as an audience and it had no warning sign like on April Fool’s Day, it is a special occasion that you will be aware of tricky news but it general you will not.

Now, you have an idea of what we going to talk today. It still combines with the many weeks that we have been through. From the topic of this blog post YES! I am going to talk about the issue on media by using the example from ‘Oldboy’. Have you ever watch this movie before? It is good postmodern style, you have to try but your own.

Oldboy is a 2003 South Korean mystery thriller neo-noir film directed by Park Chan-wook. It is based on the Japanese manga of the same name written by Nobuaki Minegishi and Garon Tsuchiya.

Oldboy is the story of one man who was kept in a room for 15 years until one day he was released and he wants to find why these things happen to him. During the time that he was in the room, he has only bed, bathroom, TV, and a small door for the room service to deliver him a food. He does not have any chance to contact with the outside world even he try to escape but he never succeeds.


Nobody talks to him for many years then television is the main source that allows him to explore the outside world. Since it is the only source of information that he can get then it is the most trustworthy source in main character opinion but it is not like what he can expect. The things that the main character have faced is the same problem that happens on media nowadays.

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The main source of the issue of media nowadays, in my opinion, is that Disinformation Style that media like to produce this kind of information more and more. It is about when media tell us somethings, that information has already cut some realness out like before it has TV program it has to edit some part of the video because of time limitation then what we see is just a part of the real information.

In Oldboy, even though the main character is educated many good things like science by watching TV but he was fool by those TV too. In the American version, what the character have seen through the TV is the information that his enemy want him to see, he is the only person who consume that channel because it create to fool him by telling that he rape his wife, kill her, or news about his daughter was adopted and become a good musician but in fact it is not but his enemy just want to hurt him or make him believe.

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In that version, the director more focuses on how can his enemy persuades the victim to follow his plan by using a TV which the outcome was really shocked that the main character completely believes what he has seen on the TV. The channel that created for him is super effective to make him believe in everything that the TV said but at the end when he knows the truth, I am going crazy same as him because I do not think that our life will be fool by the news.

The fact at the end is, it is true that his daughter was adopted but someone but she is not a musician she is a doctor and the person that he sees on the TV is the actor. The TV fails in telling the truth, I mean they tell some truth but it is not the whole. The main character is in a deep hyperreality because he cannot judge what is true or not since the lack of information and the belief of TV is the trustful source.

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Exaggeration and Sensationalism are the things that happen in the movie and also in real life too. Both of them are the things that increase the sell and gain attention. In the Korean version, the main character watches the news that his wife was killed and a police believe that he is the killer. He was really angry about that and increase his enraged toward the person who killed his wife.

In the American version are more colorful, because in the news the main character not only about him kills his wife but he also rapes her. Rape a sensitive issue that makes the news that he has seen create more and more anger for him also the audience feel that the main character was so unlucky and they feel pity for him. It plays by exaggerating the content in each version and it also plays with the emotion of us and the main character.

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All of the things that I have mentioned is not only in the movie but it also happens to us. We are easy to trap in Exaggeration and Sensationalism, we love it because of its fantasy for us like a love to consume a story about a mother who was blind and has to take care of her children rather than an environmental news. It is a selling point of the media but it create a problem because editing will take place to make the story harder to make it POP!, for example, the same story of the mother but after editing, they add some sad song cut out some fact like they are rich or have a money support because if they told that they are poor it will gain more audience and it is a Disinformation Style since they fail in tells the truth.


All of those things have to be under responsible of the media however it is happen only in the ideology because media nowadays is the source that let the issue happen by their intention. From Oldboy to the real world, we are not different. We are a slave of the media and it can use us to do what they want a to feel what they want us to feel. Think about this in the movie the main character is the only person who uncontrolled by that channel by the intention of his enemy. Think about the real world we consume many channels of media how can we know that they are good for us or are they want to make us into something that they want? For example, it can make you favor a bad guy that you think they are clean.


It really hard to tell why it still an issue and it is not just the things that I have mentioned, It has more! What I suggest you must ask a question and stay curious. Do not believe what you eyes, ears, or mouth, told you, receive it and think! Do not passively satisfy as media want you to be. Keep asking and finding the relationship of the things will help you not fully in hyperreality.

I have to say that we have to say goodbye now T-T We will see each other again real soon. Please enjoy your week and also enjoy reading my blog. I hope that it is not too complicate. See you and remember……

‘The things that entertain you can educate you too.’


  1. Oldboy 2003
  2. IMDb Top Rated Movies

Picture Sources:

  1. Header
  2. Oldboy 2003 poster
  3. Oldboy 2013 poster
  4. Oldboy 2003 prison
  5. Oldboy 2003 Characters
  6. Oldboy 2013 prison

One response to “Oldboy & Issues in Mass Media

  1. Great use of example (Oldboy) movie to illustrate concepts, it is well written. Some parts when read I thought about hyper identity in terms of how you mention that TV program are telling the truth but not all parts of the truth, due to the limitation of time. I exactly agree with you and looking forward to read your next blog. 🙂


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