Starring: Choi Min-Sik, Yu Ji-Tae, Gang Hye-Jeong
Director: Park Chan-Wook
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About This DVD
There's almost no doubt that Park Chan-wook's new film "Oldboy" will be a
commercial success. With the popularity of the two main actors and with many
local critics already deeming it a classic, the film has become a hot commodity
on Internet ticket reservation sites.
The film finds the director, who is most known for the DMZ drama "Joint Security Area JSA," returning to the theme of revenge and retribution he explored in last year's "Poksunun Na-ui Kot (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance)." Contrasting the stark, almost barren quality of that film, Park pulls out all technical stops for "Oldboy,'?#38;macr; using scores of computer graphics and fight scenes to tell his tale.
The story comes from a Japanese comic book of the same name, in which an ordinary family man is suddenly kidnapped and placed in a cell dressed up as a hotel room. Given no explanation for his confinement or the murder of his wife, Oh Dae-su (Choi Min-sik) spends the next 15 years alone, weaving in and out of hallucinatory states with only a television to keep him company.
Dark and moody like a nightmare waiting to occur, these moments in the hotel room are some of the best in the film. The scenes, in which Park uses a collage of images to set the mood, play out like a Kafka story, with Oh unsuccessfully trying to come up with a rational reason for his plight. An expert on personifying tragedy, Choi is at his angst-filled best portraying a man on the edge of madness.
Oh is determined to one day find a way out of his cell and exact revenge on those responsible. Between bouts of madness, he trains himself in the art of fighting, punching the walls until thick calluses envelop his knuckles.
Unfortunately, when Oh finally escapes and begins tracking down his enemy (Yoo Ji-tae), the film gets to feel a bit muddled. Perhaps it's a matter of having too much of a good thing, because the combination of the various elements doesn't completely add up. Like different volumes in a comic book, there's something a bit stilted about the transitions and the resulting finale.
Still there are many things about the movie that do work. On their own, the scenes are visually strong, though some of the more repulsive moments do feel gratuitous. (Animal rights activists beware!) And the pathetic yet comical quality of having a half-insane man attempting to seek justice, as well as the overall elusiveness of Oh's quest, will keep audiences glued to the screen.
One day in 1988, an ordinary man named OH Dae-soo, who lives with his wife and adorable daughter, is kidnapped and later wakes up to find himself in a private makeshift prison. Dae-soo makes numerous attempts to escape and to commit suicide, but they all end up in failure. All the while Dae-soo asks himself what made a man hate him so much enough to imprison him without any reason. While suffering from his debacle, Dae-soo becomes shocked when he watches the news and hears that his beloved wife was brutally murdered. At this very moment, Dae-soo swears to take revenge on the man who destroyed his happy life. Fifteen years have passed and Dae-soo is released with a wallet filled with money and a mobile phone. An unknown man calls Dae-soo and asks him to figure out why he was imprisoned. In front of bewildered Dae-soo, a girl named Mido appears and she promises to help him seek vengeance after hearing about his 15 years in confinement. With Mido's help, Dae-soo begins to trace the guy and finally encounters the private prison where he discovers a cassette tape, which only says... "OH Dae-soo talks too much." While Dae-soo and Mido's search goes on, Dae-soo finally runs face to face with his kidnapper. The culprit says there will be no way to find out the reason of his imprisonment if Dae-soo kills him now. Instead, he proposes a game. He tells Dae-soo that if he discovers the reason for his imprisonment in five days, then he will kill himself. If not, he will kill Mido. Only five days are given to Dae-soo to find out the reason behind the guy's grudge against Dae-soo. While doing so, hidden secrets about Dae-soo and Mido's relationship are revealed.
|Audio Format:||DD 5.1 Surround, DD 2.0 Stereo|
|Video Format:||Widescreen 2.35:1 (Anamorphic)|
|Running Time:||120 / 148|
|Special Features:||Disc 1
1) Commentary by Park Chan-Wook and Jeong Jeong-Hun
2) Commentary by Park Chan-Wook, Choi Min-Sik, Yu Ji-Tae and Kang Hye-Jeong
1. Making of Documentary part 2
2. All that Background
- Production Design
- Computer Graphics
- Original Sound Track
3. I want to tell you my story
- Director Park Chan-Wook
- Original Comic Book Garung Tsuchiya
- Choi Min-Sik
- Yu Ji-Tae
- Kang Hye-Jeong
- Yun Jin-Seo
- Other Characters
4. Le Grand Prix de Cannes
5. Deleted & Alternate Scenes
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