lunes, 28 de febrero de 2011

THE ASIAN BOX: OLD BOY.


Time and again we have warned you about Korean films being particularly violent. Oldboy wins the Pal d'Or for unnecessary squirm in your seat and avert your eyes brutality in Technicolor. Somebody kidnaps Dae-su, an obnoxious businessman, and locks him in a secured hotel room. Occasionally, his jailers gas him and cut his hair and straighten up the room while he's unconscious. At other times they drug him and infuse his brain with hypnotic suggestions. For no apparent reason, they dump him in a vacant lot after 15 years of imprisonment. He can't remember much, but a kind sushi waitress takes him home and cleans him up. He sets out to discover what he can about his captors. By methodically eating dumplings across the city, he eventually locates the food source used by his jailers. The delivery boy leads him to his place of entrapment and he wreaks havoc on the place. He gathers some clues, but large sections of his memory have been erased, which hinders his search.

Eventually, he finds his tormentor, a kid whom he had crossed in high school. Revenge takes a far different route than you'd anticipate, or ever conceive. If you turned your head during Marathon Man or were uncomfortable with A Clockwork Orange, then Oldboy will be too much to take. It's rated IIb which is equivalent to PG13. If I saw this at 14, I'd still be having nightmares. Otherwise it is an unbelievable tale that breaches more taboo subjects than a Todd Solondz film. 2004. Directed by Park chan-wook, who took the best directors prize at Canne for this gem. This is the second film in his gruesome revenge trilogy. If you can handle this, look for Sympathy for Mr. Vengance.

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