Oldboy

“I’m a sort of scholar, and my field of study is you.”

After the box office failure of his previous film, Park Chan-Wook worked hard with his next script to make something that would really draw people in. He cast two of South Korea’s biggest stars to play the leads and based it on a successful manga comic, weaving a dark mystery together that was very operatic. And it worked! His 2003 film Oldboy was a huge box office success and garnered incredible praise for everyone involved. It also helped establish Park as a filmmaker of note. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we continue our series on Park Chan-Wook’s Vengeance Trilogy with his film Oldboy

We look at the nature of revenge taken in this film and how the truths of the characters contrast each other. We talk about the brilliant camerawork all through, notably the single-take hallway fight. We look at what Choi Min-Sik and Yu Ji-tae bring to the table as our protagonist and antagonist, and how there are definite comparisons to Oedipus and the Greek gods. We discuss the end of the film and how Park left it deliberately ambiguous. And we touch on the eating of live octopuses and why it can be deadly. 

As crazy as this world is, it’s a film that is fully invested in making it real. We had a great time watching it and have an even better time talking about it. Check it out and then tune in! The Next Reel — when the movie ends, our conversation begins.

Film Sundries