Oldboy movie poster

Kick-ass Kafka, from South Korea, and from filmmaker Chan-wook Park, about an ordinary citizen imprisoned without charge in a shabby apartment, framed during his stay for his wife's murder, set free after fifteen years, and allotted a matter of days to answer the questions of who imprisoned him and why. Additional questions: why fifteen years, why a matter of days, and what made him into the inexhaustible fighting machine we see before us today? The questions give the viewer more to hang on to than just the (literally) bone-crunching, tooth-pulling violence, or the carnival-sideshow spectacle of the hero wolfing down a live octopus, or the sickly, sallow color. The answers, as far as they go, seem disproportionately and disappointingly mundane. With Min-sik Choi, Ji-tae Yu, Hye-jeong Kang. 2003.

Duncan Shepherd

This movie is not currently in theaters.


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