|Starring||Min-sik Choi, Ji-tae Yu and Hye-jeong Kang|
18 and up; Children 6 and up will be allowed only with a parent guardian. No children under the age of 6 will be allowed.
Vengeance dominates the modern action cinema, but to be a work of art, a revenge film needs to give you something more than your sadistic jollies. It needs to show the cost of revenge to the revenger, to innocent bystanders, and to society which can't survive if injustice goes unpunished but also can't survive if individuals routinely take matters into their own hands. I have found my great vengeance director now in Park Chan-Wook. Before we have the faintest idea what's going on, we meet Oh Dae-Su (Choi Min-Sik), an ordinary Seoul businessman in the throes of an epic bender on his young daughter's birthday: The jump-cuts as he raves in the police station capture his fractured perception and portend the horror to come. Released, Oh Dae-Su staggers into the rainy night, phones his daughter, and then disappears ending up in another prison, a private one in which food is shoved through a hole in a door and sleeping gas pours in through the vents. He screams and bangs on the door: Why is he there? Oh Dae-Su learns from a TV set that his wife has been murdered and that his blood and hair were found at the scene. He has been framed -- but by whom? He slices into his arm to mark each passing year, and there are 15 slices before he wakes to find himself on the roof holding a man by the tie. Obviously, this sort of taboo-flouting imagery isn't for everyone, but Park's vision is all of a piece. He came of age in a period of South Korean upheaval, and in his work there's a pervasive distrust of authority combined with a pervasive lack of faith in individuals -- most of whom appear to have been warped beyond salvation by an unstable society. OLDBOY is a movie where you think you're in hell from the first frame -- but have no inkling of the infernal circles to come. It says the only thing worse than not getting revenge is -- getting revenge. (David Edelstein, Slate)
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