Food That Connects Body And Soul
Most people feel happy and celebrate with food or they have depression accompanied with eating disorder. In the mystery movie “301-302” which is directed by Park Chul Soo is about two women’s eating behavior and their lives. It explores by the disappearance of one of the two young women and develops the significance of food in people’s lives. In Park’s “301-302”, food plays an important role throughout the movie and it works as a connection with people’s emotions and feelings. For example, the lady lives in Room 301 whose name is Song gets bulimia nervosa under pressure while the other lady lives in Room 302 whose name is Yun gets anorexia nervosa when she suffers from depression.
The story is told as a narrative: it begins slowly with a detective knocks Song’s door and asks about the disappearance of Yun since Song might be the last person who had contact with Yun. During the conversation with the detective, Song cooks all the time—from appetizer to dessert. It’s obviously that Song has great interest in cooking—all she does for daily life is about buying food, cooking, eating, and she keeps writing diet diary. On the other hand, Yun is a writer for women magazines and she is suffering from eating disorder. Song likes cooking delicious food for Yun, but Yun vomits all the time and throws the food into the trash can. One day Song finds out Yun throws all her food and gets mad. She forces Yun to eat the food from the trash bag. Because of that, they start to share their life experiences and talk about their past. At this point, food plays as a role to connect these two young women’s souls. Even though they have opposing personalities and lifestyles, their food obsessions are rooted in dark histories that are graphically revealed through flashbacks.
These two young women—Song lives for cooking and food while Yun has no interest in food; Song adores sex while Yun hates it and regards it as the dirtiest thing ever. For example, when the detective enters Room 301, Song asks what he likes to eat and cooks chicken for him. The only thing that she concerns about is cooking. Besides, when the first time Song meets Yun, Song thinks Yun is too thin and decides to cook delicious food for Yun since it might be a challenge to make Yun like her food. In this movie, Park does focus a lot of the film on the very human feeling of disgust, especially in the direct links he draws between food and sex. For example, during the dinner, Song has a desire to have sex with her husband. Nevertheless, the reason for her divorce is that she only cares her cooking and sex but nothing about her husband’s feelings. Song tries to use food as a connection with her marriage, but her husband gets bored with her. Her husband becomes busier and busier while she becomes fatter and fatter (her weight is from 100 to 158 pounds). When she finds out her husband has other lovers, her mind is twisted. She kills the dog and cooks the dog for her husband which leads to their divorce. On the other hand, Yun was raped by her stepfather and she saw a little girl froze to death in the refrigerator. Then her father let her cut the little girl’s body into parts. From then on, Yun’s psychology twisted and refuses any food or sex since she believes her body is full of filthiness and that’s the reason why she cannot accept food or sex. On the scene when her stepfather rapes her, the movement is slow and it’s obviously that this experience is a big shock for Yun and for the audiences as well. In fact, Song and Yun are both victims and they have unhappy relationship with their families. They have no way to protect themselves since Asian women have been minor in social position for thousands of years.
As a mystery movie, there’s a twist ending—Song kills Yun and eats her body. In fact, the reason of eating disorder is based on people’s psychological conditions. It’s an interesting study of two women trying to cope with their broken relationships with their lover or parents, but the director is brutal in his attempts to show the pain they suffer from.