Chan-wook Park’s Oldboy – A critical review

Oldboy is a South Korean movie by Chan-wook Park that takes us into the world
of a man craving to revenge his enemy. The story begins when the main character,
Dae-su Oh (Min-sik Choi) is abducted by his unknown enemy. He is imprisoned
for 15 years in a room and the only forms of communication is the person that
slides his food under the door and the television installed in his room. The story
progress by showing us his life in parallel with the life of the outside world,
through the eyes of television. We see some moments of madness surounding
him and my best guess would be the infite amount of time he’s been in the room,
as well as the moments when they gas him, in order to brainwash him. His
abductor remains unknown for the first half of the movie but the story
continues with Dae-su Oh finally realising that he could make it alive out of
this room.

Sooner or later he decides to start digging the brick walls. Several years have
past when he finally gets to the outer wall of the building. Next frame of the
movie he appears to be freed from this room. He is wearing a nice suit a watch
and he is on a rooftop.

That’s when the second part of the movie starts. From his point of view we see
a man that wants to revenge his enemies. On the way he meets a girl, Mi-do
(Hye-jeong Kang) that starts palying a significant role in the plot. The drama
though about the twisted plot is that we still don’t know why he was imprisoned
nor does he.

Ultimately he starts putting the pieces together and it’s then when we meet his
captor Woo-jin Lee played by Ji-tae Yu. We find out that the Woo-jin Lee is
playing a game on Dae-su Oh and he is in a way still a prisoner, a prisoner of life.
Apparently Dae-su Oh was not the best person in this world. So he tried to find
out who hated him so much.

The movie has some action, a lot of drama and some romance along the way.
The movie is quite clever and the characters are really strong. I would expect
a more realistic approach but this way it gave more meaning and value to the

The plot aproaches to an end with a crazy twisted part inside Woo-jin Lee
luxurious apartment, where truths surface and leads to a mayhem. Meanwhile
Mi-do is kept hostage and Dae-su Oh actions serve the purposeof saving her as
well as his atonement for him bad deeds.

Not a bad movie, I recommend it, just be in mood before you get into this
crazy world.


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