Recordando a Chicoviejo

"Oldboy" (Park Chan-wook, 2003), Rhys Cooper

“Oldboy” (Park Chan-wook, 2003), Rhys Cooper

GONZALO TRINIDAD VALTIERRA |

 

El año pasado se cumplieron 10 años de la llegada de Chicoviejo a la pantalla grande, nombre por el cual se conoce —en el mercado negro— al filme surcoreano Oldboy (2003); dirigido por el director —surcoreano también— Park Chan-wook. Y adaptado del manga Oldboy (1996-1998), escrito por el japonés Garon Tsuchiya e ilustrado por Nobuaki Minegishi y editado por la firma Futabasha.

Pero no sólo se cumplió una década de vida fílmica para la versión surcoreana de Chicoviejo. La cual fue galardonada en los festivales de Cannes y Sitges. Fue también el año en que el filme cambió de piel y se introdujo en el mercado occidental, a través de una segunda adaptación orquestada por el director norteamericano Spike Lee, la cual esperamos que se estrene este año en México. Diez años separan uno de otro. En el fondo una misma historia los une; la pluma de Tsuchiya legó en esta serie una de sus mejores obras.

No quiero hacer omisión y dejar el manga a un lado. Desenvuelta a través de intrigas trepidantes, ¿habrá algo más intrigante que permanecer 10 años en una cárcel privada sin ninguna razón aparente?, y genialmente ilustrada en blanco y negro por Tsuchiya, Chicoviejo es en sí misma una obra ágil con muchos elementos cinematográficos integrados en su construcción narrativa; gracias a eso su adaptación como guion ha tenido buenos resultados. Por cierto, en el mercado latinoamericano Random House Mondadori ha incluido en su serie Debolsillo la serie completa.

En la versión de Park Chan, quien se negó a que Spike Lee hiciera una mera adaptación de su filme, existen dos escenas que uno no podría olvidar después de verlas: el momento en el que Oh Daesu, interpretado por el actor Choi Min-sik, se come un pulpo vivo —tal vez las dimensiones lo hagan más desagradable— y la escena continua de la pelea con sólo un martillo en un estrecho pasillo contra miembros de la mafia armados con palos; cabe mencionar que Spike Lee no pudo mejorar la escena por una razón: es inmejorable. En cambio, el norteamericano filmó la escena desde varios ángulos y con varios cortes.

El resultado de esa modificación fue la pérdida de esa sensación de claustrofobia que, quienquiera que lea el manga y vea la versión surcoreana de Chicoviejo, no pude dejar de sentir en todo momento. Esa opresión. No es un azar que ambos, manga y filme, estén cargados de símbolos sofocantes: el cuarto en el que encierran al protagonista es diminuto, oscuro, sin ventanas, con una televisión y nada más. La maleta en la cual lo transportan a Oh Daesu a una azotea. La vida cotidiana que se refleja opresiva; ciudades atestadas de personas. En pocas palabras, Chicoviejo parece estar conformada como esas muñecas petrushkas que se contienen unas a otras cada vez en figuras más pequeñas.

El personaje principal, Shinichi Gotō (llamado Oh Daesu en el filme), es un hombre común y corriente que un día es objeto de una venganza. Liberado años después (cantidad que varía dependiendo del manga o los filmes) con la intención de volverlo parte de un juego de intrigas y preguntas sin respuestas. Un laberinto construido en torno a la venganza. Tema que Park Chan-Wook ha abordado con perspectivas diferentes. Basta recordar que Simpatía por señorita venganza (2005) y Simpatía por señor venganza (2002), junto con Chicoviejo, conforman La trilogía de la venganza.

En Chicoviejo percibimos la transformación de un hombre que, a punto de perder la cordura en el encierro, descubre que su única posibilidad de supervivencia es entrenar su cuerpo hasta que se convierte en un shadowboxer letal. Habilidad que, en el manga, pone a prueba al enfrentarse a un campeón de boxeo; lo vence en unos cuantos rounds.

Oh Daesu, habiéndose convertido en un alcohólico apostador, se despierta un día en su cuarto-prisión sin nada. Su único contacto con la realidad (distorsionada) es a través del televisor. Siempre existe esa atmósfera de distorsión, la cual termina por materializarse en el propio rostro del personaje que Choi Min-sik supo construir. Una descomposición que transforma el rostro en un paisaje sombrío. Especialmente al principio del filme.

Los personajes de La trilogía de la venganza no podrían ser considerados héroes. Oh Daesu nunca es capaz de un acto heroico. Ha sido orillado por el tiempo y las circunstancias a buscar venganza. Lo único que quiere es recuperar algo que le arrebataron en algún momento. Quiere su vida de vuelta. Sabe que no puede recuperar a su familia. Pero concentra todas sus fuerzas en recuperar algo de lo perdido, a pesar de que ese algo sea la muerte de su invisible enemigo.

“Aunque no soy mejor que una bestia, ¿no tengo el derecho a vivir?”, estas líneas redondean el conflicto de la película. El encierro sustituye a la muerte. Pero tampoco es una nada como la muerte. Es una disminución de todos los sentidos: es la restricción del movimiento, la falta de aire, sol, compañía, de todo contacto humano. Por años un hombre es tratado como un animal de circo hasta que el animal dentro de él sustituye al hombre. Cada día se pregunta por qué no lo mataron como a una bestia. Por qué meterse en tantos problemas para encerrarlo. ¿Qué pecado ha cometido ese hombre?

Entra en juego el destino, en un mundo de venganzas donde todo vale. Incluso no enfrentar al enemigo, sino atormentarlo. Orillarlo a la locura. No existe una noción de justicia en los personajes. Ni un orden al cual apelarse para restituir su justa balanza. Los dioses han sido sustituidos por un hombre poderoso; también domina desde las alturas de un rascacielos. Un hombre que ha acumulado tanto éxito económico como resentimiento en su alma. Un nuevo dios del dinero capaz de hacer el papel de las Moiras griegas.

Chicoviejo está cargada de esa dialéctica que existe entre la muerte y la sexualidad en la cultura japonesa. A tal grado que recuerda ciertos matices de la obra de Yukio Mishima. Esa capacidad de fascinar sexualmente ante la inminente presencia de la muerte. Conforme avanza la película su acumula esa tensión hasta que el castigo, dictado en el destino, ocurre. Una escena memorable también.

Las tijeras que mutilan la lengua de un antihéroe derrotado no por la fuerza sino por una venganza perfectamente enhebrada. La memoria vuelve a abrir viejos senderos que estaban clausurados. Y la lengua que recorrió el cuerpo de una hermosa mujer ahora yace en el piso. Oh Daesu humillado, vejado como un Edipo sin lengua. Arrastrándose en el suelo pidiendo piedad. Ladrando como un perro. Implorando porque el secreto se quede con su lengua mutilada y no llegue a saberse nunca.

Uno de los aciertos de Spike Lee es, sin duda, el haber elegido a Josh Brolin para interpretar a Chicoviejo. Me recuerda mucho más a ese hombre fuerte de mandíbula recia del manga. Pero, a parte de eso, no aporta una interpretación memorable de esa historia. No logran ni Spike ni Josh penetrar en el conflicto humano que se esconde detrás del martillo con que Park Chan-wook pulverizó a los espectadores hace 10 años. Tampoco aprovecha otra serie de elementos narrativos de su contraparte gráfica.

Entre tanto, mientras lo recordamos, seguimos esperando a Chicoviejo.

"Oldboy" (Spike Lee, 2013)

“Oldboy” (Spike Lee, 2013)

| RMM | GT | @Seliztli

_______________

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