On the night of his daughter’s third birthday, a man named Dae-su (Choi Min-sik) is mysteriously kidnapped. After 15 years of imprisonment, he’s released without explanation. Still trapped in a web of conspiracy, Dae-su begins a quest for vengeance as he tries to unravel the mystery behind his captor’s identity and his motives.
Be it a rock or a grain of sand, in water they sink as the same.
Oldboy is a very engrossing movie, as we unravel the mystery behind Dae-su’s captivity along with the character himself. It’s especially interesting to see the interactions between Dae-su and his captor Woo-jin (Yoo Ji-tae) and their justification for their vengeful actions. Along with all the intrigue, there are also some great action sequences. There’s one cool sequence in the film (starting with the above image), where a continuous long shot follows Dae-su as he fights off many men in a corridor. Maybe it’s because I saw The Matrix recently (another one of my blind spots), but I think Oldboy takes a little bit of inspiration from the film with some of the action sequences and the overall green tone that the movie’s cinematography has.
Oldboy is one of those movies featured in IMDb’s Top 250 that I felt I needed to see at some point, especially since several people in my college film classes would rave about it. Though I’d heard so many good things, I was a little wary about it because I actually did know a little about the major, disturbing twist before watching. Normally knowing major plot points doesn’t diminish my movie-watching experience, and I don’t think it did here because there was still a lot I didn’t know about the movie going into it. Still, this is the first blind spot entry that I think won’t be adding to my personal favorite movies list. Regardless, I’m glad I finally saw Oldboy, and I do think it’s one to be seen.
Directed by: Park Chan-wook
Starring: Choi Min-sik, Yoo Ji-tae, Kang Hye-jung
Oscar Nominations: N/A