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Revenge Is a Dish Best Served Cold

“Oldboy” Movie Review


Photo by Yeh Xintong on Unsplash


“Even though I'm no better than a beast, don't I deserve to live?”


Before Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite" was the Korean film adored by the west, there was Park Chan-wook’s “Oldboy.” It follows a twisted tale of a man seeking revenge on those who wronged him. This movie is made by Oh Dae-su who is played amazingly by Choi Min-sik as we follow his brutal and unforgiving story. This movie offers a captivating and disturbing experience that will forever be remembered by the viewer. However, this movie is not for everybody, it's very difficult to watch at some points and it arguably has one of the darkest twists in all of movies. This movie is a genre-defining classic that is a benchmark for every revenge-thriller that follows.


There are many impressive set pieces in “Oldboy.” The film's visual style is downright alluring, and the background score perfectly sets the mood of this violent yet melancholic movie. The choreography behind each fight scene is masterfully done. The most famous scene in this movie is an unbroken four minute long one take of an incredibly brutal fight scene. It is one of if not the best choreographed movies ever made.


The performances in this movie are remarkable. It is a trio of outstanding acting that keeps the drama riveting, and offers a break from all the intense moments. Choi Min-sik is the star of the show in this film with his unique sense of style and takes you through every emotion. At some points you hate him, you cry for him and you cheer for him. The villain of this movie is also played amazingly by Yoo Ji-tae. To be a villain in the world of “Oldboy” means you have to be the worst of the worst, and he shows that he is the worst. These two actors are what make this movie excel and turn it into one of the most harrowing stories told through film.


However, “Oldboy” does not come without its controversies and graphic moments. It delves into disturbing and shocking territories. However, these elements are integral to the film's impact. Although such brutal scenes are happening, you are unable to look away. It explores the darkest parts of a person's mind and human nature's darkest corners. Revenge is a theme as old as time, however, “Oldboy” never makes its themes feel played out. It follows these dark themes like revenge and violence and makes them both thought-provoking and deeply unsettling. It forces the audience to constantly question both the main characters and their moral compass. In the world of “Oldboy” there is no good and bad.


If you’re prepared to be taken on an intense and disturbing journey, “Oldboy” is a must-watch. However, make sure you watch with a strong stomach and an open mind.

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Andy Poll

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