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Oldboy

Old Boy

South Korea 2003
produced by
Egg Films, Show East
directed by Park Chan-Wook
starring Choi Min-Sik, Yu Ji-Tae, Kang Hye-Jeong, Kim Byeong-Ok, Ji Dae-Han, Oh Dal-Su, Kim Su-Hyeon, Lee Seung-Jin, Yun Su Kyeong, Park Myeong-Shin, Jun Jin-Seo
screenplay by Hwan Jo-Yun, Lim Joon-Hyung, Park Chan-Wook, based on a manga by Garon Tsuchiya, Nobuaki Minegishi

Park Chan-wook's Vengeance Trilogy

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Seemingly without reason, Oh Dae-Su (Choi Min Sik) is just picked off the street, & locked into appartment, where he gets sufficient food & everything ... but is deprived of any human contact - & furthermore someone murders his wife & plants evidence that Oh Dae-Su is the killer. After 15 years (!), he is set free again, again seemingly without reason.

When he is out again - & provided with a cellphone, money & clothes by some stranger, he first goes to a Japanese restaurant - & immediately, Mido (Kang Hye-Yeong), a cook at the restaurant, falls in love with him ... & he soon with her, too. But still, soon he wants revenge on those who locked him up ... & goes after the only clue he has, a certain type of food, which he has to browse all the town's Chinese restaurants to identify. The next clue he finds leads to a surveillance company, that has monitored all his moves - but this clue seems to be a dead end when the owner, despite brutal torture ascertains that he has never seen the face of his employer ...

... after all his investigations have led to relatively little, the man who had him locked up actually shows up at Oh Dae-Su's doorstep - & gives him 5 days to find out why he did it, otherwise Mido will die.

& though Oh Dae-Su soon frees Mido, his captor has become elusive again ... but has purposely planted clues that lead to the truth: It turns out that his name is Lee Woo-jin (Yu Ji-Tae) & he went to the same school as Oh Dae-Su ... & what's more, his sister has committed suicide shortly after Oh Dae-Su got transferred to another school.

Feeling victorious, Oh Dae-Su goes to Lee Woo-Jin's appartment, a luxurious penthouse, & presents him with his findings ... only to find out Lee Woo-Jin's scheme against Oh Dae-Su doesn't end with their meeting, it just begins to unfold.

Back in school, Lee Woo-Jin tells, he had an incestuous relationship with his sister, & even impregnated her. But even so, he thought their love was pure ... until Oh Dae-Su told everyone, ruining the reputation of both brother & sister ... & Lee Woo-Jin's sister committed suicide because of it - which in Lee Woo-Jin's opinion is all Oh Dae-Su's fault ... So Lee Woo-Jin had him locked up for 15 years, long enough for Oh Dae-Su's little daughter to grow up to legal age, & then had both him & his daughter hypnotized to fall in love with each other ... & Oh Dae-Su's daughter of course is Mido ...

Oh Dae-Su is reasonably & understandably shocked, but when Lee Woo-Jin threatens to tell it all to Mido, too, he turns into a wimpering idiot who will do anything to keep Lee Woo-Jin from doing so, be it kissing his feet, cowering like a dog or even cutting out his own tongue (!) ...

Lee Woo-Jin decides that at long last, Oh Dae-Su has had his punishment, promises to stay forever silent & just to make sure shoots himself.

& Oh Dae-Su does the only sensible thing (or is it): He goes to a hypnotist who erases all his memories of the true identity of his lover Mido, & as lovers he & Mido can finally go into a brighter future ... or do they ?

 

Once this movie kicks into gear, it is a fine, mazelike & violent thriller that really had some thought put into it. Unfortunately it takes quite a while until the movie kicks into gear, the film takes way too long (approximately one hour or half of the film) to set up the story, in that time presenting the viewer with an array of loose ends, false clues & violence that, especially in retrospect, becomes meaningless & superfluous. Still, all that doesn't destroy the powerful conclusion.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...

 

Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!

 

Bauliche Angelegenheiten
ein Roman von
Michael Haberfelner

 

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