Wednesday, June 15, 2016

973. Oldboy

Directed by Park Chan-wook

I have loved revenge stories ever since I read Count of Monte Cristo in high school.  Now we have this and Kill Bill coming up!  My blood lust should be sufficiently satisfied between these two films.

A lot of the brilliance of this movie comes from its innovative twists that would make M. Night Shyamalan himself tight in the pants.  Therefore, I will keep the summary short and vague.  In 1988, Oh Dae-su is arrested for public drunkenness, which causes him to miss his daughter's fourth birthday.  His friend Joo-hwan picks him up from the police station and the pair go to a phone booth to call home.    While Joo-hwan is on the phone, Dae-su is kidnapped and held in a sealed hotel room.  From the television set he learns that his wife was murdered and that he is the prime suspect.  Aside from that information, Dae-su has no idea who is holding him hostage or why.

I feel like many Hollywood action films take are rather condescending to their audiences.  I suppose this makes sense, as the appeal of the genre is often its' mindlessness.  But this is actually a smart movie; I particularly enjoyed the parallels between this and a certain Greek tragedy that shall remain nameless for anti spoiler purposes.

The octopus scene was fairly disgusting, although I have a theory about its purpose.  Unfortunately, I can't reveal what my theory is, as it would constitute another spoiler.  Good review right?

RATING: *****

Interesting Facts:

Four live octopodes were eaten for the scene at the sushi bar.  Gross.

Body count of 7 (onscreen).

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