Train To Busan (2016 Zombie Film)

I think the father/daughter relationship isn’t a functioning relationship. That’s why she wants to go see her mom. Basically, they aren’t a family—which is what they’re supposed to be.

As for the cheerleader/baseball player, what I see isn’t romance, but “I’m there for you.” (Actually, I see "I’m there for you just about everywhere that isn’t the father/daughter—even the two old women share this.) But, at the end, even in the way they frame her chewing on his neck does make this seem like a romance. [I think the change is relevant.]

Care to throw out Domains and Concerns?

I guess romance was a bad description. But the cheerleader’s whole thing with him in the beginning was like, “I choose you/we’re supposed to be together/it’s fate”. Can’t remember the actual dialogue. All the team mates are being teasy and it seems like that shyness/embarrassment is what’s stopping it from developing.

About the “being there” part of the father/daughter relationship, he isn’t there for her recital. Then in the car on the way to the station he tells her, I’m always watching you, even when I’m not there.

Re: the relationships, I’m just trying to find something that encompasses all of them, because they should all have the same perspective. But I think we’re good and should move on to Domains/Concerns.

What do you think they might be?

I feel like I’m mentally running in circles on domains, but just to keep up the momentum:

OS Universe - So much of the conflict seems to be caused by people getting trapped/stuck/locked out. Also the possibility that someone might be bitten. Finding safety. Surviving. If we can just get to Susan everything will be okay.

MC Psychology - His way of thinking about himself and his responsibility (or lack thereof to others). Scheming behind the others back. “You don’t want to be a lemming, do you?”

IC Physics - Freezing up during the recital. Singing at the end. Doing everything he can to make his wife happy. Fighting for the people you care about.

RS Mind - Being an aftethought. Disregarding us. Being self conscious.

For a story to be in Universe, something has to be off about the Universe. Or something has to be “stuck”. What would that be in this movie?

[It can’t be “they’re in the zombie zone” because that is actually porous, as we see at the end.]

It might help to think about the Story Goal and what Concern that would have to be.

Right. I was having trouble with that throughline. I thought the types seemed stronger under that arrangement. (Being and becoming for dad is too good :joy:).

I know the whole zombie zone is a flimsy idea. Could it be something like, they’re all stuck together? They’re these people from all different rungs of society who’s survival depend on each other?

If we agree it’s success then goal seems like it’s just surviving the trip? They get away from all the zombies and don’t get shot by the soldiers. They survive.

That feels like present to me. I was leaning that way for my rs arguments.

Obtaining maybe. Doing seems off.

Do you have a strong feeling about the goal?

I do, but I figured you’d get more out of this if I didn’t tell you. :joy:

But they aren’t stuck together. Arguably, they’re all on the same train, but that gets ruled out by things like getting off the train, splitting up in the Daejon (sp?) station and that kind of thing. Something like Snowpiercer has people who are genuinely stuck on a train, and stuck in a hierarchy.

I think this is right. This happens at the end (for some) but do we see them enjoying this new Present?

I encourage you to thing about this thematically. What does the argument seem to be? What is getting played out by all of the characters in the movie?

I appreciate the patience. :joy:

Looking back through the thread, I feel more like its OS Physics MC Mind.

All the running, sneaking, fighting, and killing. Being chased. The zombies spreading is very much a process.

MC Mind: His put yourself first, cutthroat attitude.

IC Universe: Sang-he’s controlling the universe around his wife, making sure she’s always comfortable. Soo-an not having a father in her life. She freezes at the recital because he’s not in the room.

Psychology is always a tricky domain for me. Probably why I was more comfortable with mind there. But I can see it the dysfunctional aspect of the relationships.

I’m going to rewatch tonight now that we have a clear idea of domains and dynamics. I’ll take another crack at concerns tonight/tomorrow morning.

Thanks for working through this with me. :+1:

This is a good insight. Without a strict border, it is unlikely to be a situation.[quote=“glennbecker, post:28, topic:2634”]
IC Universe: Sang-he’s controlling the universe around his wife, making sure she’s always comfortable. Soo-an not having a father in her life. She freezes at the recital because he’s not in the room.

I think there is a better way to phrase these. Zombie-puncher is an expectant father. Su-an is Seok-woo’s daughter.

You betcha.

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I agree on the IC Illustrations. Much more to the point.

Let’s take another swing at concerns. :grin:

OS - Obtaining

I was having trouble with this because watching the movie again Approach / Attitude, Self-Interest / Morality seemed so strong, but I couldn’t think of a good illustration. I decided to look up some gists on Subtext and saw things like “Finishing what you started”, “Returning home”, and “Escaping a monster”, and it clicked for me.

MC - Subconscious

Closure and Denial stick out the most here. He tells Su-an in the car you always have to finish what you start. Not finishing is worse than not doing it at all (He gets cut off there, but I think that’s where he’s going with it). Denial is the strongest. He simply will not ever admit he made a mistake. He refuses to apologize to Sang-hwa, he tells his assistant that they did nothing wrong event though it’s implied that they were very deeply invested in the company that made the virus/chemical, and pulling all their money out after reports of the leak was a bad idea.

IC - Future

Sang-hwa putting off choosing a baby name. Sacrificing himself to buy them time to escape. He chooses a name right before he dies. He chooses Seok-woo to protect his wife. Sang-hwa and Su-an’s preconceptions about Seok-woo. (“He’s a bloodsucker” “You’re the reason mom left” “You don’t care about anyone but yourself”) One day she’ll realize everything you did was for her. Maybe you’re not such a bad guy after all.

RS - Becoming

Becoming a functioning father/daughter relationship. Becoming a couple. Becoming parents. Benchmark would be being. The more we’re they’re for each other the closer we become.

Am I in the ballpark? Haha

Yeah, you’re in the ballpark now.

One last word about OS>Situation: the border isn’t fixed… it keeps changing. I suppose that could be Universe>Progress in another movie, but it isn’t here.

I think you are thinking too hard here. When the extremely selfish CEO convinces the group in car 15 to seal the other ones out… that’s Self-Interest. When Sang-hwa stays behind in the train station to close (and lock) the glass doors against the hoard… that’s Morality. When they have to figure out how to traverse the trains full of zombies… that’s Approach. When the baseball team razzes the cheerleader/boyfriend… that’s Attitude.

Hope and Dream… maybe he dreams that his relationship with his daughter will magically repair itself. He hopes his investment advice is good. But pretty skim.

I see very little future, but I think you’ve nailed it by pinning it to the baby. He wants his baby to have a life.

I think these things are more about the MC and what he is like. [quote=“glennbecker, post:30, topic:2634”]
RS - Becoming

Becoming a functioning father/daughter relationship. Becoming a couple. Becoming parents. Benchmark would be being. The more we’re they’re for each other the closer we become.

I think this is exactly right. It’s good that you see Being as the benchmark, because how the relationships are measured is what stands out.

For Sang-hwa and Seok-woo, this would be “Becoming a functional team” I think.

Keep going!

Right. I could totally see self-interest, morality, attitude and approach. I was just having a hard time seeing obtaining as a goal until I looked at gists. :grin:

I really feel strong about help/hinder/conscience/temptation under denial.

His lecturing his daughter about helping people. Undercutting his client’s interests to save his own assets. Taking the easy way out. Not caring how his actions hurt others

So that would be help/hinder/support/oppose or conscience/temptation/faith/disbelief in the OS.

I really don’t see faith and disbelief. I can see support and oppose though. The whole us vs them splitting of the passengers. Not letting people through. Questioning the conductor’s choices constantly.

So hinder would be the OS problem. Everyone keeps screwing each other over to save themselves.

Does that feel right to you?

I see what you’re saying about the preconception illustrations. But if you have an MC who refuses to admit his mistakes, isn’t having people think he’s a parasitic, selfish, a-hole pretty challenging? :smile:

Support and Oppose are less direct than “not letting people through”. Support would be like, “Yeah, you go close that door!” Not letting people through would be hinder.

But, before you take that as an endorsement of hinder, answer this question: BIG PICTURE, what is the problem for all of the people on the train?

And then, which element does that sound like?

Big picture, including everybody, is that there are zombies chasing them everywhere they go. Which sounds like pursuit.

I could see pursuit as the MC problem. He’s so driven in his career that everything else is pushed aside and suffers.

Oh, no. Is this the Finding Nemo/Collateral storyform again? :laughing:

Edit: Finding Nemo has avoid as the problem element.

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Right. So now that you see this, go back and see if you can find reasonable arguments for the other elements you proposed, because it’s always smart to cross-check everything.

So many things are.

Turns out it’s the ET storyform. :grin:
I’ll edit this later to add the other throughlines and the points we already covered.

OVERALL STORY - Surviving the train ride

Goal (Obtaining) - Get to Busan …
Consequence (Becoming) - … Or become zombies.
Forewarnings (Preconscious) - As the threat of becoming zombie food grows stronger, the passengers began behaving more impulsively, until finally the CEO is sprinting threw the train yard throwing people the zombies behind him.

Domain (Physics) - A chemical spill has caused an outbreak of zombies that is spreading throughout South Korea.
Concern (Obtaining) - Everyone is concerned with not begin killed or bitten and getting to safety.
Issue (Self-Interest) - The passengers struggle with doing what’s best for themselves vs helping others.
Problem (Pursuit) - Everywhere they go zombies are chasing them.
Solution (Avoid) - They won’t be safe until the get away.
Symptom (Uncontrolled) - The zombies are overrunning everything, the train, the stations, the country.
Response (Control) - They lock the zombies in the other cars, try to hold them back, and learn how to herd them with Sang-hwa’s cellphone.

Benchmark (Doing) - Progress is measured in how well they can fight and run and do all the things necessary to survive.
Catalyst (Approach) - Conflict increases when people argue not only over the best course of action but when and how to execute that course of action.
Inhibitor (Obligation) - Need examples

Learning - Reports of the spill and news footage of the riots create a feeling of unease among the passengers. The crew learns a homeless man has snuck aboard he repeatedly tells them “They’re all dead”. They try to figure out what’s wrong with the woman who’s having seizures and has a bite on her leg.
Doing - Fighting the zombies on the train. Running to safety.
Obtaining - Seok-woo’s group stages a rescue mission for another group of passengers who are trapped in a restroom. The CEO’s group locks Seok-woo’s group out, trapping them in the zombie zone.
Understanding - The soldiers misunderstand the situation and almost kill Su-an and Seong-kyeong. They realize they’re actually survivors when they hear Su-an singing.

MC - Seok-woo

Domain (Mind) - Seok-woo is completely focused on his career. It’s putting a strain on his home left. His wife has left, his mother has to raise his daughter for him.
Concern (Subconscious) - Seok-woo suppresses his emotions as part of his job. He has a cold, it’s just business attitude.
Issue (Closure) - Seok-woo tells his mother he has to work so much because it’s a crucial time for the business. because it’s a very crucial time at work. He tells his daughter that finishing what you start is the most important thing in life.
Problem (Pursuit) - Seok-woo is super driven workaholic who puts business before everything else.
Solution (Avoid) - Realizing he is going to become a zombie, he removes himself from the others so they can survive.
Symptom (Reconsider) - Seok-woo is not a guy that likes to think twice about things. When his ex-wife, mother or assistant suggest he may be doing something wrong, he refuses to hear it.
Response (Consider) - Seok-woo always brushes people off sticking to his convictions that he is right. I’m a great dad. Su-an is fine. I was right to lock you and your wife out.

Unique Ability (Closure) - Su-an finishes singing her song, like her dad told her to, ending the nightmare trip to Busan and allowing the remaning survivors to successfully reach their destination without being killed
Critical Flaw (Preconception) - Seok-woo’s ability to finish what he starts is undermined by people’s preconceptions of him.
Benchmark (Preconscious) - We track Seok-woo’s growth by how he is able to not impulsively try to save his own skin.

Memory - Seok-woo remembers his daughter’s birthday, but forgets he already bought her a Wii.
Preconscious - Seok-woo panics under pressure and locks Sang-hwa and his wife out with the zombies.
Subconscious - Seok-woo breaks down in the bathroom, overwhelmed by everything and fearing he may have had a hand in everything that happened. He confesses to Su-an that he is afraid.
Conscious - Seok-woo finds peace in his final moments by being swept away by thoughts of his daughter.

I think that “learning to control the zombies” with the phone, with sound and the tunnels is definitely part of it.

Add to this that how they are doing it, when the are doing it also adds to the tension.

I think this is not quite right. Him being slow adds to the conflict for me.
I did not see a ton of Obligation in the movie, and the scenes that stand out as possibilities are all in the RS unfortunately. For instance, Seok-woo feels obligated to take his daughter to Busan (thus pausing the conflict in that scene). But suddenly I can feel why in a movie about “me first” is thrown off when someone is feeling Obligated to someone else.

Learning something isn’t Learning, per se. There has to be some kind of problem associated with learning it. Like, “They have trouble learning what is going on outside the train, but they know it’s bad for them when they are told they are not making their first stop.”

I always try to tie Closure to it’s affect on the OS. So, things like “he calls his buddy so he can escape a never-ending quarantine and put an end to his involvement with the zombie outbreak.” He (effectively) puts a closure to the problem for our key players by wrestling the final zombie and then tossing himself from the train.

Those are my thoughts, but otherwise really good work!

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Agreed. Maybe I can find something on a rewatch if I’m looking out for it.


Much better. I was rushing earlier and this signpost felt kind of weak to me.

I really feel strongly about finishing the song being Su-an exercising his unique ability in the OS. He even lectures her in the car in the beginning about how she should’ve finished it. Maybe reframing it as “Su-an finishes singing her song, like her dad told her to, ending the nightmare trip to Busan and allowing the remaning survivors to successfully reach their destination without being killed.”

I can definitely see these, especially him wrestling the final zombie and ending his life. The first one doesn’t seem like it ties to the story resolving successfully though.

Thank you, sensei. :grin:

I think you are right—I was ending the story too soon (with him) and it still could have been a failure had they been shot. She couldn’t finish the song earlier because, as she says, “You weren’t there.” Now she’s finishing it, which means he’s “there”, and it buttons up whether or not they are zombies.

It doesn’t tie to the successful resolution of the story, but it ties Seok-woo as an MC to the OS. Without this earlier example, it would seem like a deus ex machina if it showed up later for the first time.

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