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Animation / The King of Pigs

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The King Of Pigs (돼지의 왕; Dwaejiui wang) is a 2011 animated film from Korea, written and directed by Yeon Sang-ho. Failed businessman Kyung-min has just murdered his wife and decides to meet up with his best friend from middle school, struggling writer Jong-suk, whom he hasn't seen in 15 years.

In middle school Jong-suk and Kyung-min were at the bottom of the pecking order as the 'pigs', constantly tormented by their richer classmates, the 'dogs'.

All this seemed to change with the arrival of a new classmate, Kim Chul, who stood up to the 'dogs'. He took Jong-suk and Kyung-min under his wing, and became the titular 'King of the Pigs'.


The film provides examples of:

  • Adults Are Useless: The teachers are corrupt and implied to be on the rich kids side.
  • Animal Motifs: Pigs and dogs
  • Asshole Victim
    • The 'dogs' like Gang Min weren't safe from getting beaten either. They got their own beatings as well by their own seniors whenever they disappointed them. The narrator even once says Gang Min's senior, Song Seok-eun, gave him a bigger beatdown than Kim Chul did, and that he was actually hospitalized from it.
    • Heck, even our three protagonists fall under this in the end. Kim Chul is murdered by Jong-suk, Kyung-min commits suicide, and although Jong-suk survives, he is left in complete despair. However, considering the fact they all took part in torturing an innocent cat, their fates feel more like karma, no matter how much the story wants the audience to sympathise with them.
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  • Bully Hunter: Kim Chul. Deconstructed as his actions frequently only make things worse.
  • Bully Magnet: Kyung-min was this in his middle school days because of how weak he was.
  • Character Development: Kim Chul actually realizes how stupid it is to kill yourself just to prove a point and spite some bullies during graduation. He realizes that it'll pass and he has to be strong, swallow his pride and go back to school so that he can help his mother when he grows up.
  • Creator Cameo: The director himself appears as one of the students in one shot.
  • Disappeared Dad: Averted. Kim Chul and his mother find his father's body in the morgue.
  • Downer Ending: Kim Chul decided not to go through with his suicide, and only wanted to scare them to be accepted back to school. But Jong-suk pushed him off with Kyung-min as a witness. Kyung-min's business ended in failure and went with a Murder-Suicide from the guilt after all these years to the present. Finally Jong-suk is left to a sobbing mess.
  • Driven to Suicide: Kyung-min. What seems to be the case with Kim Chul.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Kyung-min, Kim Chul and Jong-suk are hardly better than the bullies, since they slaughter an innocent cat just to make themselves "stronger".
  • Fat Bastard: Gang Min looks chubby but is most antagonistic to Jong-suk and Kyung-min.
  • Hate Sink: The 'dogs'. Every last one of them.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Jong-suk.
  • Jerkass to One: Gang Min and the 'dogs' bullied everyone below their status, but Kyung-min had it the worst than any other student.
  • Karma Houdini: Gang Min. No matter how much Kim Chul gives him a taste of his own medicine, he always gets punished for it while Gang Min gets away scot-free by the teachers.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Taken to disturbingly realistic heights.
  • Mean Boss: Jong-suk's boss in the beginning berates him for his failure as a ghostwriter.
  • Murder-Suicide: Kyung-min.
  • Nerdy Bully: Gang Min's right-hand man An Jung-hue wears glasses but is no less violent and sadistic than he is.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: When Kyung-min offers the new student the meat dish, the result is that the new student gets stomach problems and goes to the restroom, where the bullies pour a bucket of urine on him.
  • The '90s: Considering the movie takes place 15 years ago, and assuming the movie is set in 2011, the same year it was released, then the movie would take place in 1996. Walkmans being shown as the newest thing and fashion towards Gap jeans can further verify this.
  • The Reveal: Kim Chul wanted to commit suicide in public on graduation day to spite the bullies but couldn't go through with it. A desperate Jong-suk pushed him. Kyung-min was the only one who saw this.
  • Society Marches On: Even in the nineties, South Korean people considered karaoke bars as accompaniment as brothels, and red meat are considered a luxury item back then.
  • Son of a Whore: Kim Chul.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Kim Chul advocates that to deal with the world with cruel people, you got to be even crueler than them. He also encourages Jong-suk and Kyung-min to stab a cat to death, and huff paint.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Gang Min is from a rich family and studies harder than any other students that he has the utmost respect by the teachers, so much that he is practically invincible from any consequences for tormenting on the weak like Jong-suk and Kyung-min (mostly the latter). He not only never gets in any trouble whatsoever for his misdeeds, anyone who so much as questions him gets all the blame and punishments.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Kim Chul's mother is not spoken again or her reaction of dealing two suicides.
  • With Friends Like These...: Jong-suk murders Kim chul by pushing him off the edge of a building, even though they're supposed to be friends.
  • World of Jerkass: There's nobody likable in this movie. Not even our main leads.

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