The Chronicles of a Blood Merchant : Sometimes true bonds are not through blood.

I once read a quote or something somewhere long ago. It said ” the words ‘friend ‘ ‘boyfriend’ ‘girlfriend’ all have the word ‘end’ in it. But the word family does not.” Although it seems kind of ludicrous to say that no friendship or relationship last genuinely, the quote merely emphasises the genuinity of the bond we call “family”

This movie was a film that depicted the same. It had an interesting way and layout in showing that theme as well. So without much further ado-

The movie poster for ‘The Chronicles of a Blood Merchant’

Country of origin: South Korea

Language: Korean

Directed by: Ha Jung Woo

Based on: The Chinese novel ‘Chronicles of a blood merchant ‘ by Yu Hua

Starring: Ha Jung Woo, Ha Ji Won

Music: Kim Jeong Bong

Released: 15 January 2015

Duration: 123 minutes

Heo Sam Gwan played by Ha Jung Woo (left)

The movie is set in the 1950s, shortly after the war. In the village, a man is considered to be healthy if he donates blood. Heo Sam Gwan sets out to marry one of the prettiest girls in the village , Heo Ok Ran. He is too poor to ask her father for her hand in marriage as she is already betrothed to a doctor. However, he continuously sells blood to make money.

Heo Ok Ran played by Ha Ji Won

Eventually he convinces her father and her, and marries her. They then have three children whose names translate to ‘First Happiness’ , ‘Second Happiness’ and ‘Third Happiness’. Although they are just living by, they live with happiness. Sam Gwan continues to sell blood but less frequently, whenever he is in need of money.

However rumours start to spread amongst the villagers that the eldest son, does not resemble Sam Gwan and that he is not his child, but rather the child of the man Ok Ran was initially betrothed to. Sam Gwan refuses to believe the rumour and considers it an atrocity. However, he is eventually forced to do a blood test through which to his surprise he finds that his eldest son is indeed, not his.

The movie then follows the rather dramatic sequences as the child, finds his father angry at the very sight of him. The fights and issues that start from their home that spreads into the village. Things however take even more grievous turns, when the man involved with his wife and his family get involved with serious consequences.

The film did it’s best to stick to the 1950s post the Korean War. The initial half of the film went very well until the part where the child is revealed not to be his. Although I can understand the extent of his emotions and stress, I felt it rather unfair that the child, who is innocent faced more of his wrath than the wife . Although things got confusing, towards the end the filmmakers were able to wrap up the film in a manner where we feel content. The ending of the movie managed to deliver the exact theme that the film makers wished to convey.

Another thing that I found strange was how he managed to get her hand in marriage. Such an important decision was taken by her father in a rather ‘not so serious’ manner. But we soon forget that as we see the happy family in the movie. I think that the most important thing we can understand from this movie is that, Family is not something that is made when we marry or have kids. To truly be a family, it involves love, happiness, care and the feeling that we are one family. I think in the end, despite the boy not being his own, the years spent in loving and bringing him up mattered so much more than anything else. Another thing I liked is the constant references the family sits together and makes about the food they want to eat, when they are hungry buy domt have the money to eat. Overall, it’s a pleasant and light hearted watch that we can enjoy.

Although this was based on a family theme, I am sure many of us have had experiences where, sometimes the bonds we find are strongest may not be through blood, but otherwise. Cherish those good people in your life because that matters. There’s nothing worse than being lonely. Although some people may actually prefer to be lonely, there comes a time when you need someone when you are sad, or are happy, or to just spend time by. And as far as friends are concerned, we all know how hard it is to get good and genuine friends. Once you do get them, never let that falter. It matters. This post is therefore, dedicated to my best friends and roommates, with whom I have spent the last four years in college. Although we are parting ways soon, once our course ends in a few months, I am sure it’s a bond that lasts.

Do you have anyone special that is always there for you? What do you feel about those friends that are sometimes even more closer than family? Let me know in the comments below!


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