Add a Spoonful of Color to the Dark
Add a Spoonful of Color to the Dark
  • Kang Kim Hyojung ,Lee Gayun
  • 승인 2023.05.01 09:52
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Imagine walking alone on a rainy dark street that is reminiscent of a crime movie. Noir is a genre that deals with crime and violence, and its unique bleak atmosphere gives thrilling suspense. People may think that the noir genre only deals with crime, but it also attracts people's attention by melting various points of different genres together. As such, noir stimulates us with a new kind of thrill by providing stories that we cannot often experience in our daily lives.

COVER OF The Old Woman with the Knife



"Now is the time to live all the loss given. So, Ryu, it seems that it is not yet time to go to you."
- Hornclaw


<The Old Woman with the Knife (2018)>

Hornclaw is a killer by profession, over 60 years old. She was once called "nail," and for more than 40 years she worked as a contract killer. Having handled the "murder work" with a sharp, clean finish, she boasts a remarkable ability among killers. However, her physical strength and memory gradually decline, and she gets treated as a has-been by companies as getting older. Hornclaw, who has a job as a murderer, has avoided caring about anything and has lived with that mindset all her life, but she begins to find things she wants to protect one by one. She is no longer what she used to be after taking care of an old street dog or finding sadness and emptiness in the eyes of a client who wants to hire her. Her eyes, which have lived ignoring the joys and sorrows of life, begin to see the pain of others, and pity for everything alive swings in her heart. The more she wants to protect, the more important things become her weakness. To overcome this situation, her final work must be completed. Will she be able to finish her last task successfully?



What's special about this book is that it positions an old woman in her 60s, who is not usually considered the main character in the ordinary noir genre, as a killer. Novels and movies that set old people or women as professional killers are rare. Despite that, this book brings the freshness of the main character to readers by combining these two elements. The author Gu Byeongmo's indifferent yet heavy writing style goes well with Hornclaw, who is the main character of the novel. She calmly describes the protagonist's regret for her life, unordinary due to her job as a killer. In the psychology and situational description of a character, a unique metaphor is used to express it vividly as if the reader were witnessing the actual situation. The writer's style and neat writing help readers become more immersed in the novel. While reading this book, readers can experience the character of an old woman killer which is different from typical noir. It will be a unique experience in which her life becomes engraved in their hearts.





"Never trust anyone. Trust the circumstances."
-Han Jaeho-


<The Merciless (2017)>

Jo Hyunsoo, a police officer, goes to prison undercover to infiltrate a drug cartel. Han Jaeho, who controls the distribution of cigarettes within the prison, is a leader of a drug cartel and is Hyunsoo's target. To approach him and gain his trust, Hyunsoo saves Jaeho when he is almost killed by another gang that is challenging Jaeho's power. However, Jaeho, who does not trust people easily, decides to investigate Hyunsoo and finds out that he is a police officer. In order to get Hyunsoo on his side, Jaeho kills his mother, whom Hyunsoo loves dearly, by disguising it as a car accident. In grief, Hyunsoo asks his boss to allow him to attend his mother's funeral but is denied. Jaeho helps Hyunsoo attend her funeral. As a result, Hyunsoo confesses that he is a police officer to Jaeho, who suggests working together after he is released from prison. Then, Hyunsoo joins the cartel as a double spy. Is he going to be on the side of the police or the gang?

SCREENSHOT OF <The Merciless>



This movie has a charm of showing narratives differently depending on the character's point of view. The story begins when Hyunsoo's boss proposes going undercover to him. It shows suspensefully how Hyunsoo turns toward evil. The audience can easily sympathize with Hyunsoo's feelings by seeing him being betrayed by those he trusted and in trouble. In particular, the strengthened relationship between Hyunsoo and Jaeho which has changed by the end gives a fresh shock. Also, the audience can enjoy the irony during the scene where Jaeho, who believed that he could trust no one, puts his trust in Hyunsoo. Unlike noir that focuses on violence or crime, as the complex relationship of the characters progresses in the movie, the audience breathes with the characters' narratives and emotions. In addition, it combines the queer genre that is not usually seen in noir to give a new perspective.


Kang Kim Hyojung / Woman Section Editor
Lee Gayun / Society Section Editor


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