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must-see movies : OldBoy by Park Chan-Wook

oldboy movie cover
Old Boy is a South Korean thriller directed by Park Chan-Wook. Released in 2003 as the 2nd opus of the Vengeance trilogy (with Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and Sympathy for lady Vengeance), the film won the Cannes grand Prix the next year.

I discovered Oldboy one night while I was consulting IMDB’s list of 100 best movies of all time, the Korean drama was ranked as the 87th. I fell in love with right after watching it.

Dae-Su, the main character of the story is a husband and father who has been kidnapped and locked up in a hotel-like prison room. He doesn’t know why he is jailed and has no idea who might be his jailers. He will spend 15 years in this room where his only link with the outside world was a little TV. Before getting his freedom through a tunnel he began digging with a pair of…chopsticks after he discovered the killing of his wife through the news.

Released, Dae-Su is given a mobile phone and some money by a homeless guy. A bleak and intense pursuit of truth and vengeance begins. Who killed his wife? Where is his daughter now? Who puts him in this jail? So many unanswered questions…I’m going to stop here, I don’t want to give away the ending.

oldboy hammer scene
oldboy quote

Old Boy is not just another mainstream thriller with impressive visual effects where the hero wins at the end. Park Chan-Wook takes us in such an unexpected trip where shocking brutal violence and sublime deep human emotions strangely gets together. It’s some kind of a poetic gore movie, so disturbing that you’ll need a strong stomach to watch it.

What is also impressive about Oldboy is the never-ending suspense. The sudden plot developments keep you asking yourself “So, what’s going to happen next?” progressively taking you into such an unimaginable denouement. If you are a fan of Hitchcock’s black creepy suspense, this movie is yours.

old boy scene

To sum up, I would say that Oldboy is such a nerve-wracking b-movie I highly suggest you to watch! But if you don’t like b-movies, you can wait for the American release planned for 2013 under Spike Lee direction. It will certainly be a big blockbuster.

Here’s the link to watch the full movie, ENJOY !

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