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South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook directed this violent and offbeat story of punishment and vengeance. Oh Dae-su (Choi Min-sik) is a husband and father whose reputation for womanizing is well known. One day, for reasons he doesn't understand, Oh Dae-su finds himself locked up in a prison cell, with no idea of what his crime was or whom his jailers may be. With a small television as his only link to the outside world and a daily ration of fried dumplings as his only sustenance, Oh Dae-su struggles to keep his mind and body intact
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He is finally released and given a mobile phone and some serious cash. He sets out for vengeance on those that had wronged him and on his travels he meets and falls for a young and attractive sushi chef who he moves in with right away. He soon finds he is being watched and followed but the years of being locked up have made him resilient and fit as he had little else to do whilst being alone, other than build himself up. I do not want to spoil the plot but the more he finds out the more complex his situation becomes, with violent consequences.
The acting is superb, no-one is a passenger and director Park Chan-Wook does a brilliant job. This is violent, visceral and yet stylish. It had me on the edge of my seat for most of the film and it is nearly two hours long, so that is some achievement. It is full of great lines that are heavy with poignancy, like - "whether a rock or a grain of sand; in water they both sink alike. And that is the whole point of this film; we are all equal when faced with the unspeakable truth of our own depravity.Read more ›
This is the ultimate in revenge films. A man is locked away for 15 years, never told why, then released. His captor then plays a game with him, giving the man a period of time to figure out who his jailer is and why he had him imprisoned in the first place. Chan-wook Park's revenge films usually have a message: Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (his first in the "series") shows that revenge is cyclical and never-ending, while Lady Vengeance (the third in the "series") speaks to the hollowness of revenge. Oldboy takes a different approach which I won't spoil here. And the ending... My first time seeing this movie was in a small theatre. When the film finished, everyone walked out of the place silent, just in awe of... well, you'll see. Other notable scenes: the "dentistry" scene (gore fans will enjoy this), and the "hammer" scene, a fight scene in a hallway that lasts several minutes and appears to have been shot all at once with no cuts.
If you enjoy Asian cinema, but have never seen Oldboy, do so immediately. If you are looking for a movie that could convert you, this may be the one. It's got everything: a great story, violence, some dark humor, a little nudity, and enough twists that I would suspect anyone who claims they guessed how it would end is a liar.
That being say, it might be one of the best empty vessels created. 'Oldboy' has a very intriguing premise: A man has been locked up for 15 years in a private prison by unknown people. No reason has been given for this punishment. After he is finally released, he tries to find out who imprisoned him and what their motives are. The first part of the movie is very good. The plot is a little bizarre but you simply want to know what is going on.
I will say the photography is stunning, the editing is clever and the acting is at most parts really good. The story is smart, but becomes a little to smart at times. It's trying too much to live up to films like "Memento" or "Seven." With a better resolution of the plot and a slightly less playful style this could have been a complete winner. I will say `OldBoy' kept me entertain and didn't bore me one bit. Is worth watching for those who interested in this genre.
Most recent customer reviews
I enjoy it not sure if I enjoy it more than the remake or not.Published 8 months ago by Albino Rhino
Great movie but the case was a little damaged, but the DVD itself is in perfect condition.Published 17 months ago by Michelle