Oldboy (2003) Min-sik Choi, Yu Ji-tae, Kang Hye-jeong Movie Review

Oldboy (2003)   4/54/54/54/54/5




120 mins


Min-sik Choi in Oldboy (2003)

A Fun but Dangerous Dumpling

After having made a drunken nuisance of himself Dae-su Oh (Min-sik Choi) is released after spending some time at the police station but finds on his way home he is accosted and imprisoned in some sort of apartment. A year after being there he learns that his wife has died and his prints have been found at the scene. Then after 15 years of imprisonment, of being gassed everyday so that his mysterious captors can enter the room to feed him fried dumplings and dress him Dae-su Oh finds himself released, waking up on a grassed roof to a building. Now Dae-su Oh is looking for answers; who imprisoned him? Why him? And why all of a sudden has he been let go? But whilst he is looking for answers and ultimately get revenge. But his captor decides to make it a game with 5 days to get answers and if he doesn't succeed, well someone is going to die.

"Oldboy" right from the word go leaves your jaw on the floor with one curious scene after another as we go from drunken escapades in a police station, the weirdness of the kidnapping, the look of Dae-su during his incarcerations with what you only hope are hallucinations involving ants and before you are even 20 minutes in there is a shocking scene involving a live octopus which if you are not use to will leave you looking on in disbelief and searching out to see if it was a CGI trick, it wasn't.

Min-sik Choi and Hye-jeong Kang in Oldboy (2003)

And this is how "Oldboy" goes on with scenes which are dark, ridiculously funny and entertainingly absurd. Yet it is all put together to create this mystery surrounding who kept Dai-su a prisoner for 15 years and why. And it should be absolutely no surprise when I say that nothing is straight forwards which trust me is great as you keep watching not only for the quirkiness of it all but also in eager expectation of what the next twist is and what else will come along which makes you look away such as a scene involving a hammer and some tooth removal.

The thing is that it may seem like I have given away plenty but trust me there is a lot more going on in "Oldboy" and there is Min-sik Choi's performance which is incredibly physical with the delivery of exceptional comic timing yet strangely it isn't in the least bit over the top. There is something quite controlled about it which adds to the whole intrigue of where the movie is going because it is difficult to work out what he is thinking.

What this all boils down to is that "Oldboy" is an experience and one which you are not going to forget in a hurry. As for anything else well as long as you have a strong stomach you must give it a go.