Cafe Soul: Food Leads to Memories

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Jun wanting to learn more about Sang Woo and Morandang

Café Seoul is a Japanese film about a young journalist named Jun who is looking for something worthwhile to write about while being stationed in Korea.  While chasing an angry and rude musician, who we learn about later, Jun runs into a small family owned café known as Morandang.  This is where Jun meets the owner and cook of the café named Sang Woo.  Jun takes an interest in the café because he felt connected with Sang Woo and his family memories since Jun also worked in a café in Japan with his family.  .  It is really interesting to note how food connected these two very different men with very different cultures.  One of Sang Woo’s two brothers named Sang Hyuk, who was the same angry musician from the beginning of the movie, was forced to take care of the shop and cook the food when Sang Woo’s arm got injured by gangsters.  These gangsters injured Sang Woo because they want to force him to sign documents giving up the property Morandang is on.  After much contemplation, Sang Hyuk decides he will take the shop over but it was really evident that he was not a particularly good chef.  This took much trial, error, and frustration but with the help of his brother and Jun, Sang Hyuk becomes a very legitimate cook.  Throughout this time of cooking, Sang Hyuk learns many interesting things about cooking and food in general.  Sang Woo teaches him about the patience and care food needs in order to be perfect.  Making good food takes time and a large amount of effort for it to be good.  It also takes the right combination of seasoning.  Food is delicacy and art to create and Sang Hyuk learned this the hard way.  There was also another problem going on in the family business.  The youngest brother, Sang Jin, took the name of the restaurant and made a much more fancier and elegant one.  He also wanted to forcibly remove the name of their family restaurant in the process of making his café the world empire of restaurants.  Sang Jin’s Morandang looked a lot less traditional and more modernized.  This is the direction he wanted to take Morandang.  There was a really emotional scene when Sang Hyuk begs his younger brother to at least change the name.  Sang Jin refuses and a battle of rice (cooking competition) takes places at the end of the movie.  Another important them that occurs in this movie is the idea of memories food gives the eater.Image  The memory of food and family is what connected Jun to the family of the Sangs.  The younger gangster also remembered the memory in which whenever he would get in trouble the father of the three brothers would give him delicious food to make him feel better.  The older gangster also yearned for those memories he had with the dead father and the food from the café connected him with those memories, especially in the last scene.

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