- Terribly effective anime film 10/27/2012 12:00:00 AM by patryk-czekaj
A haunting, hard-hitting animation about the problem of class struggle in South Korea and its disastrous connection to bullying. With its nightmarish art direction, it stimulates many radical emotions in the viewer, assaulting him with a most sombre tale of an atrocious past.
Two men struggling with domestic issues of their own meet after 15 years and reminisce about their extremely difficult school days. Their childhood was gradually being destroyed because of the ongoing, enormous and brutal pressure from the rich kids who ruled the school-grounds and often resolved to in-class violence. The fact that everybody around pretends that this horrible activity didn't even exist only made the whole issue worse and caused the richer kids to be even more confident of their impunity. The boys' last and only hope was their brave yet ferocious classmate Chul. He proved to be the only kid who wasn't afraid to stand up against the terror and tried to fight back using even more violence than his oppressors. Without any help from the outside the three friends came up with a most shocking plan - Chul will commit a public suicide. Without any hope for a brighter future they though of this extreme scheme as they only means to notifying the impassive adults about the horrible incidents that occur behind the school walls everyday.
Apart from evaluating the boys' decisions and presenting their differing viewpoints on the situation - and on what's about to happen - the film also reveals a grand mystery in its final act.
The plot is inspired by the director's dream, where his two friends decide to commit suicide as a revenge act for all the evil that's happened to them in the past.
The King of Pigs is a mightily dark and obscure anime, where horrible reality merges with confusing visions, only to deliver a stupendously convincing message to the Korean nation. Through the story of two men it shows that many childhood traumas have terrible lifelong effects. Memories are deceiving, but they play an important role in determining how people cope with their lives.
- Dark, unwieldy, profound 11/13/2015 12:00:00 AM by Leofwine_draca
THE KING OF PIGS is a darker-than-dark South Korean anime detailing that country's social hierarchy and its effect on bullying in high schools. It's an extremely depressing piece of film-making, with no happy endings or answers to the many questions posed throughout; at the same time, it's rather a profound piece of work, and one which pays off as completely rewarding to the viewer who invests his or her time in it.
The story is a straightforward, high school-themed tale about a couple of poor kids who find themselves victimised by the rich older students. Into the chaos comes Chul, a guy who believes that one should become a monster in order to take down the bigger monsters. What transpires is never less than gripping, as it involves you in an increasingly dark and twisted tale.
I wasn't too fond of the basic animation here, although it brings favourably to mind the likes of ANIMAL FARM (and LORD OF THE FLIES is an obvious precursor to this story). The voice acting is also a little shrill for my tastes, but despite all this, THE KING OF PIGS is electrifying viewing thanks to the compelling, unique storytelling.
- Brutal, disturbing and incredibly moving. 7/31/2016 12:00:00 AM by manuelasaez
I see why they chose to tell this tale using animation; some of the stuff that happens to these poor kids is downright foul, and any school that allows these children to experience this type of physical and psychological abuse should be shuttered. The story is heart-breaking, in that you feel for the poor kids, but then you start to realize that society does not make it easy for them, their school doesn't make it easy for them, and they just have to endure. It sucks to watch these kids grow bitter and damaged with each passing minute, and to see their tormentors just laugh off the pain they inflict as "Keeping the students in their place". It's a heart breaking tale of growing up in a society that cares more about keeping their members in line than actually showing affection and love. It is a difficult watch, and one that will not be easily forgotten.
- A brilliant exploration of difficult themes 7/14/2020 12:00:00 AM by xherridea
This film is disturbing. I say that to mean that this film accomplished what it sets out to. It deals with sensitive issues like bullying, abuse and domestic violence in a nuanced and sympathetic way, without overshadowing the bad things done by both the abusers and their victims. It's also got a twist that works really well in the story. The animation style works really well with the story it is trying to tell. I would recommend it, but make sure you have the right mind for it.
- The hard and ugly truth 8/25/2019 12:00:00 AM by jonizajmi
This is the best movie about bullying that has ever been made by most chances.It makes you take a hard look at how powerful and delicate at the same time our minds are, especially those of kids. How they are shaped by their family and its problems, and by the hierarchies built in school; by the repression, inequality and unfairness.With the prohibition of expressiveness (depression), how far can a human go?