OLDBOY

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
APRIL 25, 2013

One of the most potent foreign films I’ve ever encountered, “Oldboy” is an epic story without the unneeded glitz and glamour of a Hollywood blockbuster. Park Chan-Wook tests the viewers’ endurance, putting his main character, Dae-Su, through challenges while touching on thick and heavy emotions that translate perfectly to the spectator.

The epic feeling is achieved through masterful character development, as Dae-Su is unrecognizable from his first scene compared to his last. Chan-Wook is also excellent at messing with perspective and people’s assumptions, which is apparent in several other films. He shows an image to which you take away your initial understanding. Then we revisit the same scene later and either offer you an element you did not see before that changes the event’s meaning or gives you enough details to skew your perception.

The crowning achievement of “Oldboy” is the ability to mask all of the secret twists and turns that you encounter throughout the film. It takes a gifted director to weave intricate secrets into a movie without spoiling them or telegraphing them. “Oldboy” is simply a masterful film in general, foreign or domestic. It’s a shame that anyone sees this film and feels the need to remake it.

RELEASE DATE
November 21, 2003

DIRECTOR
Park Chan-wook

WRITTEN BY
Hwang Jo-yun
Lim Jun-hyung
Park Chan-wook

BASED ON
“Oldboy”
by Garon Tsuchiya and Nobuaki Minegishi

STUDIO
Show East

R
(for strong violence including scenes of torture, sexuality and pervasive language)

ACTION
DRAMA
MYSTERY

THRILLER
120 minutes

CINEMATOGRAPHER
Chung Chung-hoon

COMPOSER
Cho Young-wuk

EDITOR
Kim Sang-bum

CAST
Choi Min-sik
Yoo Ji-tae
Kang Hye-jung
Kim Byeong-Ok
Jin-Seo Yoon
Yoo Yeon-Seok

PRODUCED BY
Lim Seung-yong

BUDGET
$3 million

Leave a Reply