i had to understand kim ki-duk's process in order to come back and comprehend this film...he says in Arirang that we (as humans) are one, both villain and hero and what we do to others is done to ourselves and birdcage inn is one of the earlier movies to follow this logic. two women begin as opposing forces but are revealed to simply be two halves of one being.
This reminds me of something similar theme from its counterpart: Exhausted (by Kim Gok) from the same country (Korea). But the obvious reasons reveal, if you've watched, that this tasteless film cannot be on par with the supposedly to be the perfect allegories of hell mentioned before.
The leading actress, Lee Ji-eun, made me feel the story. She's great with natural acting. This movie is raw and not pretentious like other Kim Ki Duk's work afterward. Yeah, it's the top favorite Kim Ki Duk's movie of me.