The Queen in Encounter

As you have already guessed, the queen is the chairman Kim. Now, you might be wondering why I chose such a taking. In the foreground, the beholder notices the chessboard, while she is in the background. Chairman Kim has just heard the news that the assemblyman went to the prosecution office in order to reveal the bribes he received from Taegyeong Group.

The chessboard embodies perfectly the life of this terrible woman. She is just like the queen in this game. She is the most powerful pawn in chess, can move in every direction and at any distance. She has even more power than the king. Since she has always considered herself as a queen, entitled to everything, she believed that her power was endless. However, she made a huge mistake. Just like in chess, the game is over when the king is caught: checkmate. If life is a game for the chairman, this means that all the other pieces are just pawns that can be used and thrown away, the moment they become useless or a thread to her. As time passed on, we saw how she lost her trusted minion and then the director Choi. She always thought that losing a pawn is not terrible as they mean nothing to her. However, she never realized that she was losing little by little all her pawns so that at the end, she became dependent of one pawn: Cha Soo Hyun’s mother. In the picture below, we see Jin Mi Ok kneeling in front of the queen. She is humiliating herself in exchange for her support. However, chairman Kim abuses her power. She lets the woman kneel and rejects Cha Soo Hyun’s mother. Notice that the door frame corresponds to the form of the chessboard indicating that her world and life are in reality limited. This scene also illustrates the delusion of the queen. She really thinks that her realm is endless but this is quite the opposite.

At the end, since she saw how Jin Mi Ok humiliated herself, she has the impression that the former will never betray her and testify against her. But the opposite happens. She testifies against the queen who ends up in jail. Striking is that her realm (door frame) has the same form than the chessboard which can be explained by her liking for squares and oblongs. Ironically, she ends up in jail which usually has such a form. Her realm has been reduced to a prison cell. If she was the queen in the chessboard, who was the king? I think, it is her son Jung Woo Suk. She acted as a overprotective mother isolating him from others, even harassing his wife. Now, we can understand why the chairman Kim never liked Cha Soo Hyun. Sure, the gaze was a reason. However, just like in a chessboard, there is only one queen. There is no room for a princess. This explains why Jung Woo Suk is not able to see his mother at the end, as the latter refuses his visits. She has realized that she ruined her life and her son’s life as well. Life was a game for her, she saw others as “dust” or “dog” or “race horse” forgetting that in order to be a queen, you need subjects. By losing all her pawns, she lost all her subjects, Jin Mi Ok is the perfect example. If the queen doesn’t act reasonably and shows no loyalty, then why should a mistreated subject have any loyalty towards the queen? This justifies the chairman Kim’s action: she throws the chessboard enraged that she had been betrayed. Her gesture underlines that she has realized that life is not a game and pawns are not just useful and disposable items. Once lost, they are lost forever. She got aware too late that her power was limited by the number of pawns and the size of the chessboard. She can not control the entire media and the prosecution office all the time, especially when the politician Cha Joon Hyun had already mobilized the journalists and alerted the authorities.

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