Sunday, April 25, 2010
Oldboy is a South Korean film, and not being familiar with such films beforehand, I wasn't quote sure what to expect prior to viewing it. However I'm glad I did, because the end result is a very captivating and unique film unlike any I've ever seen; it's incredibly brutal and hilarious at the same time, which is a very unusual pairing (but mostly brutal). I'm not speaking in terms of Shaun of the Dead or anything like that either, which is a (awesome) comedy with over-the-top gore. This film has moments that even made me want to cringe at times, and admittedly, I did.
A man (Dae-Su), who is essentially a loser and a failure of a husband and father, is kidnapped and imprisoned for 15 years, only he doesn't know by whom or why. Also, he learns that his wife and daughter have been killed. He is oddly kept healthy and fed regularly, so it's only a question if he can keep his sanity and/or decides to kill himself before he is released. Fortunately, he is released, only he is still uninformed as to why he has been imprisoned and even more strangely, why he was let go. When he is released, he learns that he was framed for his family's murder, so he is technically a fugitive. Fortunately, he has turned himself into a killing machine (which he claims is from self-training out of boredom and watching television), and he uses this to his advantage in an attempt to find answers. At first he was simply a man with nothing to lose willing to kill anyone in his path, but he quickly meets and falls and love with a woman and things begin to get complicated. Without spoiling anything, and trust me you don't want me to, the ending is a huge kick in the balls, and is on-par with the likes of the endings of Seven and Fight Club, if not even more nuts. It is also a pleasure simply to look at, because some shots seemed to leave me in awe, especially a particular fight scene (I have a soft spot for long one-shot takes). Also, the film is just very well written with some great dialogue, which it would have to be to make a movie like this to actually be comedic, at least at a few scenes. So to sum it up, this movie is very gory, very funny, and very shocking, so check it out.