April 17, 2018

The Favourite Young Man: Plumbers Are People, Too

Yet another public service announcement from the propaganda ministers of North Korea, The Favourite Young Man has but one intent: To remind us that a person should not be judged by their job but by how well they do it. There's nothing inherently better about white collar than blue collar or for that matter pink collar work. If anything, blue collar and pink collar jobs may be more important in that they are truly about serving the people. Any attempts to get a research position, in hopes of being more respectable, should be called out for what they are: Pretentious! And yes, the young accordion-playing plumber (who has come to his profession somewhat reluctantly) and the young, bashful seamstress (who recognizes his worth right from the start) are the two most attractive people in the movie. The construction worker who repeatedly refuses to take the wise advice of an experienced plumber — who also just happens to be the young plumber's incredibly good-natured mother — is nothing more than an arrogant buffoon!

The hour-long movie's one major subplot involves another female plumber (an industry apparently dominated by housewives and widows). This embarrassed tradeswoman, fearful of being unlucky in love, hides beneath her headscarf and behind a pair of oversized sunglasses as a way to escape recognition by her fiance who's a highly respected boxing coach. But does she really have anything to be afraid of? Of course not. He's an enlightened athlete working in the most masculine of professions yet even he knows: There's nothing wrong with being a plumber! It's a respectable way to earn a living and one which ensures that we all have access to running water in our homes; without it, there would be no toilets, no showers, no kitchen sinks in which to wash our dirty utilitarian dishes... Guess who has the bathtub that keeps getting clogged? Hint: It's not one of the plumbers.