Friday, July 9, 2010
One can admire that fact that Chan-Wook Park wants to bring something new to the thriller genre with Oldboy, as well as appreciate some of the narrative techniques he employs in the movie. But admiring aspects of a film isn't the same as liking it. I can't remember such an irritating, wrenching, and disturbing movie experience as this. It's confusing in its story, frustrating in its uncompromising pace and lack of explanation, and sick in its unflinching violence. Nearly everyone who likes the movie says you need to see it twice, but I believe this would only improve some plot details and not actually make the movie better. I was really turned off from the movie when the hero goes to a restaurant (at this point the movie is pretty good) and asks for something alive. Well, he gets it and he eats it. Then there's another torture scene involving the removal teeth and the mutilation of a tongue. I felt like eating food while I watched this, which is funny because it's the sort of movie that generally would kill an appetite. But I think this desire was more a result of wanting to be distracted from the movie itself-that's never a good sign.