The Upsurge of Korean Cinema

Korean Cinema has been slowly rooting itself within every country of the world. It is influencing people of different countries, in other aspects also, with the help of movies and dramas. The food, the language, the culture, the songs, the tradition, the clothing, the make-up- everything is made famous by the movies and dramas, which people then try out in their real life. This has also been seen and experienced in India and many Indians have started becoming excited and interested in this area.

Each and every day there is a new K-drama, or K-movie, being discussed around, and a new sensation among the people of the world. Have you ever wondered from where all this has started? Or about the history of the Korean entertainment that is spreading rapidly all over the world? Or the effect of the influence and popularity that the Korean entertainment has brought about, like K-dramas, K-pop and K-movies, and how it has become a huge sensation among the masses?

K-pop bands like “BTS” and “Blackpink” have received a lot of fame recently. Many K-dramas like “Squid Game”, and “Goblin” have made their way in every household, where there is more than just a touch of interest for these. Moreover, the Korean movie “Parasite” has won four Academy awards in the Oscars!

The Start of the “Craze”

“Hallyu” is a Chinese term which refers to the growing influence of the “Korean Entertainment Industry” over the world and how it has incorporated itself in the other nations. After being bankrupted and having loads of pending debts, South Korea decided to increase its economy and create a name for itself. It took upon itself to spread the “K-entertainment” around the world and thus, in a way increase its’ soft power (the power in which persuasion is made to people through attractive offers, choices and appeals).

Branding the “chaebols” (A chaebol is a large industrial South Korean union which is handled by a single person or a group) was one of the first steps taken in order to reconstruct the business models. Some of the examples are, L.G., Samsung, Hyundai, etc. Even the government of South Korea played a huge role in promoting the movement by allocating proper and sufficient supplies and resources to the needed chaebols.

The effect first took toll on the south-east Asian countries, and later on made its way into the other parts of the world. On its way it also took a trail through the pathways of India, and surely its influence can be seen.

Why is it popular?

The Hallyu effect first started with films like “Autumn in My Heart”, “Winter Sonata”, and “My Sassy Girl”. The first one was the movie named “Swiri” which was released in the year 1999.

The K-movies have access to enhanced quality of films, one of the best examples of which is “Parasite”, directed by Bong Joon Ho. The Covid-19 lockdown also became a contributing factor in the rise of the fame of Korean shows. People had access to various streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Viki, etc. They liked the K-dramas and K-movies that were available on these platforms because of the way the drama or movie was scripted, acted out and presented in front of the audience. Moreover, the movies have also talked about topics which haven’t been discussed much in our society, like the mental health of an individual. Names like Kim Go-Eun, Song Joong-ki, Son Ye-jin, Jung Hae-in, etc. would be known to at-least a considerable amount of people if asked in a room.

Effects of Korean Cinema

The Korean cinema has influenced people all over the world and would continue to do so in the future. The shows are known for their originality as well as their ways of portraying sensitive issues and topics in the content and putting it out in the society. They have some of the most famous and talented actors and directors, whose versatility adds on in exploring different genres of cinema. They also push themselves to try out new things, which ultimately generates more audience. They have also influenced people to try out new things and the markets are flooded with Korean food, Korean accessories, Korean cosmetics, Korean skincare (which has been paving its’ way to the top) and many more. There are also a lot of fan-bases in India that have been created for different celebrities, actors, as well as singers. They also try to get together with each other, and many people become friends during these meets. Their love for K-entertainment brings them together.

It has given rise to more Korean celebrities, overall, both existing and upcoming. It has also ignited an interest with the country itself, creating this feeling of exploring the country. It also helps in creating a better image of the country, showing us various places that we can explore if we visit the country, as well as the different dishes we can try out there. The movies, dramas, and the music have given exposure to the cuisine and the touristy spots of the country so that people can visit there.

The “Hallyu Wave” has brought many hearts together within the country as well as internationally. Because of which, the movies have a lot to offer, not only as a means of entertainment, but also as a way to increase our knowledge about the different cultures that are being represented in the cinema. Fans have been showering love to the actors and directors on a large scale. On the other hand, they also face a pressure of creating more interesting movies, or to create better each time when they make a comeback. But even with that pressure, they still prove themselves by providing us with the most catchy concepts and keeping us entertained.

Written by- Preeti Rojan | Edited by- Apurv Nayak