This seemed to lack the finesse of Chan-Wook’s first Vengeance instalment. Despite an engrossing first act, the latter half of the film seemed to rely on too much on shock value than plot development. I’m actually surprised the general opinion of Oldboy isn’t more divisive, all things considered. Admittedly, there’s something strikingly cool about the way certain scenes are framed, but it wasn’t really my cup of tea.
Revisiting this light years away from the distinctly collegiate pleasures and tastes that defined it on my first, enthusiastic viewing, and I must say it is more sordid than I remember. Visually, it is impressively repulsive, greens and yellows striking that vomitific vibe, but in a cold, dry way. Altogether I don't appreciate the see-saw effect of distancing itself, then jumping right back in. Incest leads to incest
Offers a lot in terms of style - the fragmented narrative, the uncommon and playful transitions, and the break from real to dreamlike (this is where he really shines) The film has a lot to say about invisible authority, whether political or corporate, and how they are able to manipulate citizenry. As well as technologies relation to groups / loneliness: “Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone.”
3.5 I hoped the plot would be better developed and more surprising. Also didn't like the acting at times - too over the top. But it kept me interested anyway. So disturbing. Also, the cinematography is great. Some shots and sequences are really good. Too bad for the predictable sexism.
Stunning visuals. However, it reminded me of what I like least about Tarantino and Nolan - overly complication, puzzle-like plots coupled with dazzling images and set ups, but nothing underneath it all that I really care about or affects me emotionally. I feel like I may appreciate it more on second viewing though.