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awesome review


OH MY GOD!!!!!!! "OLDBOY" WON THE GRAND PRIX!!! THe news itself just made my day~!!! Awesome


I just tracked this movie down on your recommendation and I agree – it was absolutely stunning, a brilliant critique of a violent- revenge fantasies. From here on our I’ll be ranking movies based on old boy.


Glad you liked it.

I just saw Min-sik Choi is another film tonight (Happy End) and I'm now convinced he is one of the greatest actors of our time.


After I saw this movie I was just speechless Choi's performance was just great absolutely fucking great Ir's just sad that I can't watch this masterpeice on big screen


Great thanks to Filmbrain whose DVD player was put through its paces to show me this film. I don't think I would have seen it otherwise. But I'm glad I did. I also want to say my piece about this film, adding to Filmbrain's commentary.

Vengeance and destiny: this film is about both. It advances with the fatality of a Greek tragedy, with layer upon layer of predictable action, reaction and revelation. This is not to say it is bad; on the contrary, as we watch we see how Dae-su grows, reacts, assimilates the depth of the trap in which he finds himself, warily plumbing its depths until, at the end, we realise, with him, just how low he has gone. And yet, as we watch, we see he is honorable throughout. It is the gods (or daemons) that have, with mean spirit, thrown him the most horrible doom.

The violence is actually rather less visible (happily so) than in other films. Given the intensity of the film, this is a blessing - showing all would either push one towards a deep revulsion, making this film unsupportable, or detract from the psychological pressure the scenes maintain on the viewer, depending on your own inclinations. One beautifully choreographed fight scene, though full of cringing violence itself (as Dae-su fights his erstwhile jailers after a visit to their leaders), shows us a view of a corridor of prison cells side-on. As Dae-su struggles past the young, athletic, violent wardens, we are presented with a picture from the side of a Greek urn or a recreation of a classical scene by Jacques-Louis David - the same backward and forward sway of bodies - brought to life, in modern clothes and Asian faces. In itself a work of art.

Vengeance? Guilt? Dae-su's reactions are so conventional that the film becomes almost a formal exercise in tragedy. He has courage, righteous anger, love and sensitivity; he feels profoundly confused, indignant, humiliated. He looks for vengeance, but really he's looking for reparation. He wants his life back. Meanwhile his mysterious torturer plays him like a fiddle, goading him on, playing with him as the cat plays with the mouse. Although he doesn't see the twist that the story has prepared from him (neither did Filmbrain on first viewing), it is easy to guess at: a few clues and the overall tragic mould of the story meant it came as no surprise to me. What really hit me was the reason for the great hurt done to our hero: something Dae-su himself desperately tries to fathom while trying to avenge himself. For it also is vengeance, as Filmbrain says, of a very personal kind.

Despite its bleakness, like any Shakespeare tragedy, there are moments of humour - mostly black, mostly visual. And is there some echo of redemption at the end?

James Russell

Finally saw Oldboy last night. All I can say is, whichever Reuters ass thought it would be clever to give the ending away should be out of a job. If I'd seen the film for the first time knowing that, I'd have been goddamn furious.

I'm not surprised it scored at Cannes. This was the film Tarantino obviously wished he could've made. He could learn something from it.


great intelligent review, Justin!

It's always fun to find yet another different take on this movie. This movie just has so many angles!!


I watched this film for the first time the other day in an advanced film analysis class- and I have to say, if you knew the ending ahead of time, you would miss out on 1000000000 different levels of this film.

I didn't hate The Village, and I think a huge reason no one liked it was because not only did the ending get out, but also it wasn't a very far leap. With Old Boy, the entire movie is set up to lead us NOT to expect it, so it might just fare a little better. But I can tell you, as a Hollywood film, the secret WILL get out, and I hope it's not devestating to the film's success.

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