- Forgotten rights of the victims
BEHEMOTH IS a gigantic and unbeatable monster portrayed in the Bible. It is too enormous that no one knows exactly what it looks like. Indeed, it is an unknown yet powerful monster. Although the origin and the birth of Behemoth in the Bible are unknown, the modern version of Behemoth has a clear origin: the capital. In modern society, the capital has become an undefeatable monster that makes everything possible. Behemoth is a play that depicts how this modern monster thrives in today’s society.
Reflection of reality: the world of monsters
“Do you know what others call me? They call me Behemoth.” In the play, Lawyer Lee introduces himself as a behemoth because he is almost unbeatable in court cases. He achieves his victory by believing that the ends left his amoral means. The word “Behemoth” is continuously repeated throughout the play. In the beginning of the play, a prostitute girl named Min-ah was killed by Tae-suk, the son of a wealthy family. To plead the innocence of the lawyer’s client, Lawyer Lee degrades the victim, emphasizing that she is just a prostitute. Rather than considering who the victim is, he only focuses on winning the court case to earn money. Lawyer Lee is the Behemoth who tramples others for personal gain.
However, Lawyer Lee is not the only one to blame. Tae-suk and his father are hardly any better - if not worse. To cover up the murder and not to leave a stain on his career, Tae-suk’s father overlooks Lawyer Lee vehemently attacking the victimized girl. Lastly, prosecutor Oh is another Behemoth who has just stepped into the world of monsters. Although he shows disgust towards the ultimate power structure in the beginning of the play, his resolve weakens and is eventually lured by power and money.
Likewise, the play Behemoth acutely reflects the problem of society’s current power structure. In modern society, the truth is often manipulated by the power of money. The media that are protective of those in power often distort the truth to fulfill their preferences. The play ends with a news reporter saying that the court found Tae-suk to be innocent. The play realistically portrays the depressing reality of how money and power serve as the ultimate behemoths in society and cannot be defeated.
Unlike the other plays that often conclude with happy and hopeful endings, Behemoth is different in that the ending unkindly depicts the reality of real world. The ending shows that justice could not overcome the power structure of the society. The play makes no effort in consoling the audience. It shows them reality as it is. The play hopes to make the audiences realize the sinister truth of this power structure in a staged and abridged version of today’s society.
The expert of expressing victims' rights
Director Kim Tae-hyung stated that “through the plays I produce, I wanted to criticize the problems of the current society, especially how the disadvantaged are completely neglected.” He has produced many plays such as The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time and Capone Trilogy that mostly focused on the rights of socially disadvantaged members in the South Korean society. Similarly, the play Behemoth points out forgotten rights of the victims through the main character Min-ah. Although Min-ah was a victim who was killed by Tae-suk, Lawyer Lee blames Min-ah for the incited violence. He states during the trial that it was Min-ah who voluntarily injected herself with the drugs and attacked Tae-suk ruthlessly. Through Min-ah, the director wanted to emphasize how the weak are ignored, while those in power are enjoying their lavish lives.
The use of multi-media
The small yet effective setup of the stage helps the audience immerse themselves in the play. Upon entrance, the stage is quite small and the entire setup can be seen in a glance. The stage is divided into four sections: the interrogation room, the prosecutor’s office, the hotel room and the prison. For instance, the stage’s use is maximized to portray simultaneous scenes that are occurring in different places. Additionally, the missing props are replaced with sound effects. For instance, instead of setting up the door on stage, it is replaced by appropriate sound effect which allows the actors to express the presence of the door by knocking or jerking the door open. Such usage of sound effects made it seem like missing props were actually there, without invading with the engagement of the play.
Furthermore, the big transparent screen at the far end of the stage adds to the uniqueness of the play. The play starts with projecting a video on a transparent screen of a car driving fast across the road, which instantly grabs the attention of the audience. The screen also provides flashbacks, like the fight scene between Min-ah and Tae-suk. Along with these stage settings, the play *Behemoth* will raise the vividness of the play and allow the audiences to be totally absorbed into the play.
* * *
The Goddess of Justice always has a bandage over her eyes. Is the goddess blindfolded to help her overcome her prejudice and see the truth of a matter so she can make a fair judgement? Or is the Goddess of Justice blindfolded because she is simply afraid to face the atrocious reality where justice is trampled by money and power? Behemoth is a play that reminds audiences about justice and questions our current social structure.
* Box 1:
Date: 2017.02.01 ~ 2017.04.02
Place: Chungmu Art Center, theater Black
Price: R \55,000/ S \44,000
Lee Sun-Joo firstname.lastname@example.org
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