Oldboy (2003)

Posted: May 20, 2011 in Korean
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An average man is kidnapped and imprisoned in a shabby cell for 15 years without explanation. He then is released, equipped with money, a cellphone and expensive clothes. As he strives to explain his imprisonment and get his revenge, Oh Dae-Su soon finds out that his kidnapper has a greater plan for him and is set onto a path of pain and suffering in an attempt to uncover the motive of his mysterious tormentor. –IMDb


Chan-wook Park


Garon Tsuchiya (story), Nobuaki Minegishi(comic)


Min-sik ChoiJi-tae Yu and Hye-jeong Kang


 Drama | Mystery | Thriller


 End of confrontation, one must die.

Firstly, I would like to inform all the people who watch bollywood movies, I’m sure you’ve watched ‘Zinda’ starring Sanjay Dutt and John Abraham. Yes, this movie Oldboy is the movie, Zinda was so-called inspired from. While I liked the bollywood version(being totally different from all those typical bollywood movies), the original is of top class without all the cliches that Zinda had.

So now talking about the movie Oldboy, Chan-wook Park is a Korean director who specializes in incredible stylistic camera work and artistic cinematography within a carefully constructed narrative. Oldboy is the second film in his aptly named “vengeance trilogy.” A simple plot to begin with. A man, taken and imprisoned for 15 years in solitary confinement is released suddenly and has a
limited amount of time to figure out the meaning behind his captivity.

Oldboy has an ingenious plot with several hidden strands that reveal themselves
throughout. The plot twists are brutally honest and believable. The film makes a point that we have done things in the past that we’d best try to forget, but sometimes we can’t, and they hunt us to the end of our lives, we can’t escape them. This films burns more as a psychological thriller and has those same bone-chilling moments brought on by “Silence of the Lambs” An original thriller for a modern audience, a must see for anyone interested in superb film making. Oldboy also has terrific comic relief, Chan-wook Park has a great sense of humor, and he takes full advantage of it every chance he gets, and the voice-over is used to perfection here, it gets you deeper inside the main characters’ head better than most other films combined that have a voice-over. The action sequence is equally brilliant. The corridor scene where the protagonist beats up 15 or more people with a hammer is just a masterpiece.

Still of Min-sik Choi in Oldboy

The performances are masterful, there’s not a single weak link in the entire cast, and the score is beautiful and mesmerizing. This film also has one of the greatest endings in recent memory, it will haunt you for days after you finish watching it, and the main character, Dae-su Oh, played by Min-sik Choi, is one of the most compelling and likable protagonists out of any film, and when the big twists come around, you’re just as crushed as he is because you’ve been in his footsteps the entire film, and now you know his darkest secret. The main antagonist of the film is also great, and he more than holds his own against Min-sik Choi.

After all this said, this movie is not for everyone. There is its fair share of brutality everyone may not like that. In the end, Oldboy is depressing. It is dark. It is bleak. It is bizarre. And most importantly, it is absolutely brilliant. I rate it 8 out of 10.

Watch the trailer…

  1. Bradley says:

    This is without a doubt, the best revenge film of all time, the level of psychological damage done is unbelievable.

    • yupp…it so is…im sure you know hollywood’s remaking it with Josh Brolin and Elizabeth Olsen…don’t want hollywood to spoil this one too.. but the actors involved definitely makes me want to wait this one too…loved Elizabeth Olsen in Martha Marcy May Marlene…

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