**This review definitely contains spoilers**

Here we begin. The first review from us, and dear god, what a movie it is!

Directed by Park Chan-wook, this one is an attack on the senses during the first half, and surprisingly touchy in the second. He extracted commendable performances from all the actors, especially from Yu Ji-tae and Kang Hye-jeong.

From the beginning of the movie, to around the middle of it, it seems like a festival of gore, which is not surprising, considering Park Chan-wook is Tarantino’s hero. Wondering if I’d be able to wipe off the gruesome images smeared on my brain like dry blood on floor, I kept watching, and truly wasn’t prepared for the more emotional half of Oldboy.

Cinematography is brilliant, and in one particular sequence (which took three days to complete!) the camera continuously follows the length of a corridor as Choi Min-sik fights his way through it. Also the ending was shot at New Zealand, and the director liked the place so much that he actually recorded the sound of the wind there. The soundtrack is just too good for words. Examples include the flashback scene which is extremely nostalgic with the ‘Cries and Whispers’ theme playing soulfully in the background, along with a brown color scheme.

Despite all this, why you should watch the movie is because of the effort put into it. You are compelled to see it out of common decency. Let me explain. Choi Min-sik happens to be a Buddhist, but ate a squid – wait for it – alive! That’s right, straight out of the sea (well, the water tank at least) .  So, after the shot, he had to pray for the sin he had committed. Besides this, he lost 20 pounds and worked mostly without a stunt double. And if all this wasn’t enough, he actually tattooed his palm using a wire. If this is the length an actor is willing to go for the sake of a movie, he truly deserves to be called one.

Another thing I observed was that, this is one of those rare movies in which you feel more sorry for the antagonist, portrayed by Yu Ji-tae. You even feel like crying when he finally commits suicide, but only after he has avenged his sister’s death. The hero pays for his sins, and cuts off the tongue that impregnated the villain’s sweet sister. Which also brings us to the subject of the young actors. They act out their small parts in a way which would make most professionals jealous.

What assures to haunt you, absolutely torment you (if you’ve paid attention of course), is the unanswered question at the end, why was he crying? Did the hypnotism actually work, or has he still not paid for his crimes and has to live out the rest of his life as a lover to his own daughter.

il brutto

Laugh and the world laughs with you. Weep and you weep alone.


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