#224 / 365 – ‘Oldboy’ (2003) – 120 mins
IMDb Challenge #134 / 250 – Ranked #104 – Lovefilm
Dae-su (Choi Min-sik) is kidnapped and imprisoned in a shabby cell for 15 years without explanation. He then is released, equipped with money, a cellphone and expensive clothes. As he strives to explain his imprisonment and get his revenge, Oh Dae-Su soon finds out that his kidnapper has a greater plan for him and is set onto a path of pain and suffering in an attempt to uncover the motive of his mysterious tormentor.
Of the many things that I had heard about Chan-wook Park vengeance thriller, Oldboy, before my first experience today, was how violent it is. And I can report with its multiple stabbings, slashings, claw hammer beatings, and various body removals it is ultra-violent and you will need a very strong stomach to make your way through Dae-su journey, who is a man who makes threats like no-one else. At times Oldboy’s violence makes ‘Kill Bill’ look like a slap on the wrist, and that’s before you arrive at the very disturbing twist.
At first I found Oldboy a bit disjointed and the plot convoluted. However, when the plot seeds do come together, the film really takes off, and offers a kind of surreal energy that it’s hard not to be swept along. Oldboy is a unique revenge thriller that does truly shock with its audacity and originality.