395. Oldboy, 2003. South Korea.
D. Park Chan-wook
I did it. I finally made myself watch Oldboy. I say “made myself” because I’ve been terrified of it. I had heard how violent it was and that is usually enough to put me off a film for a couple of years. I’m such a baby. But I needed to watch this: I had also heard that it was too brilliant to miss. Also- it is on the TSPDT list and I couldn’t avoid it forever.
It was worth it. I’m glad I waited until I was ready. And thankfully, it didn’t let me down. It is worth every bit of the praise it receives. As violent as it is, nothing compares to the tragedy this film puts you through. It’s wonderfully balanced, and completely heartbreaking. The revenge comes from all angles, and it is relentless, and though the measures are absolutely extreme, every action feels somehow necessary to the film. No moment is wasted. That’s a rare quality in a film.
It hurts. But it’s a beautiful hurt.