The second film in Park Chan-Wook's aptly named 'Vengeance Trilogy', Oldboy is, on the surface, a story of revenge. The normal intrigue and mystery of vengeance stories is taken to new heights, as Park Chan-Wook masterfully sets up twists and turns throughout, leaving the viewer on the edge of their seat. A beautifully stylistic and gripping drama, this is the perfect start for those wishing to explore Asian cinema.
Don't expect subtlety with this one. Relies a little too heavily on shock value and the emotional power of its third act, so that re-watching it made me realize I liked it far less than I thought I did. Nonetheless there are a lot of fantastic moments, and the acting and camerawork is pretty stellar. 3.5/5
2-3. Essentially hangs a stylishly fun revenge story on a motive that renders everything happening trivial once it's revealed. The Protagonist apparently never transcends being a victim; the 'even a beast like me' sentiment is kind of gutted if he can't even be held responsible for his own 'beastliness'. That's not even getting into the way hypnosis as a plot device nukes suspension of disbelief.
Geez, I can see why people have trouble watching this a second+ time. It's a fun, gritty, bloody, graphic revenge tale that goes much deeper thematically than you might expect, and despite being two hours, it moves pretty briskly. Really intense film, and I can see why it's made such a big impact.
Few words can mirror the strange emotion i had at the end of this mesmeric film. I stood silent for a few minutes trying to come to my senses and break through the twisted ending. Though I saw the remake a few years ago, to my great surprise, during the screening i've never recall the essential fragments from the story. I was literally hypnotized by Chan-wook Park. Cult cinema.
Engaging visuals, fast paced and a memorable vengeance story with plenty of gruesome moments that stick out. It's bleak streaks of humor and the strange feel of poetic (in)justice also is gripping. Shockingly I predicted the surprise plot twist even though there was an actual shock (to me) that the film actually went through with it. Even with that twist ruined this film is enormously effective .