A heavily stylish, exhilarating and shocking revenge driven thriller that left my head spinning from all the action and monumental twists. Chan-wook's creative direction paired with the vibrantly vivid cinematography leaves a huge impression, as does Choi Min-sik's suitably off the rails performance.
The centrepiece of Park Chan-wook's revenge trilogy, and the one that made him reknowned internationally. This film is as driven as its central character, it never lets up, either in action or in the never-ending series of twists, turns and revelations. Rightly praised, but for me it still doesn't quite match its predecessor.
Through effortlessly stylish cinematography, editing, and choreography, Chan-Wook constructs a constantly thrilling and engaging story of revenge. The OTT style of the film is admirable - the dramatic narrative twists/violence is so relentless that this cinematic environment seems almost as claustrophobic and hopeless as Dae-su's 15-year imprisonment. It's a classic tale dressed in lush, thoughtful mise-en-scene.
Oldboy evokes a reverential sense of awe. The grotesque marriage of love and vengeance makes for an unsettlingly beautiful film as Park Chan-Wook managed to glue eyes distressfully to the screen. The chains that held me to my seat tightened as my heart broke and though this is the most pretentious sounding thing I have written, I do not care as basically it was fucking mint. No words left... my tongue is but a tool.
Min-Sik's performance as someone who's madness and rage is the only thing that keeps him alive and the little sanity he has left is slowly slipping into obscurity, the film's tale of revenge is so good that his acting can be overlooked just on how good Chan-Wook directs this were he's mastered his craft on shooting and pacing a film now, the hammer fight, the conclusion, the moments he's added has eclipsed the Manga.