A mentally unstable veteran works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York City, where the perceived decadence and sleaze fuels his urge for violent action by attempting to liberate a presidential campaign worker and an underage prostitute.
Robert De Niro,
Abducted on a rainy night in 1988, the obnoxious drunk, Oh Dae-Su, much to his surprise, wakes up locked in a windowless and dilapidated hotel room, for an unknown reason. There, his invisible and pitiless captors will feed him, clothe him and sedate him to avoid committing suicide, and as his only companion and a window to the world is the TV in his stark cell, the only thing that helps Oh Dae-Su keep going is his daily journal. But then, unexpectedly, after fifteen long years in captivity, the perplexed prisoner is deliberately released, encouraged to track down his tormentor to finally get his retribution. Nevertheless, who would hate Oh Dae-Su so much he would deny him of a quick and clean death?Written by
According to the cast commentary, Min-sik Choi wanted the cameraman to follow his legs when playing with the toy wings. He was trying to do a "moonwalk" originally done by Michael Jackson. See more »
All throughout the hallway fight scene, it is obvious that the goons don't actually kick Dae-Su. Many times they kick him and his body doesn't react, while other times their kicks are even too far from his body that it appears they are kicking air, despite the fact he is motionless on the floor. See more »
Prior to the DVD release, some changes to audio were made. The most prominent is the beginning, where the initial music was being extended to the production logos. Those alternations are likely to be undone in the 10th anniversary remaster, as the director Park Chan-Wook claimed to "have changed nothing from the original film." See more »
To start off; This is the one and only film that kept me quiet for a whole 5 mins after seeing it. I literally couldn't close my mouth, and yet there wasn't any sound coming out of it. Oldboy had such an impact on me that words are too little to describe that impact. Therefore this film is definitely in my top 3 films ever made. It belongs there because it has a massive ingredient that a lot of films seem to miss out on; a divine plot. Even though the acting and screenplay are world class, the plot is really the cherry on the cake.
When it comes to screenplay Park Chan-Wook is unique (at least for western standards) in his way of filming. The colours are so vivid and it seems like he wanted every shot to be a piece of art. One tip: If you like the shooting in 'Oldboy', have a look at 'Sympathy for Lady Vengeance', the third part in Park's revenge-trilogy. It's even superior to the camera-work in 'Oldboy'. Don't, however, expect a story like Oldboy's, because you would be very disappointed.
When it comes to acting and the music, this film is also one of the better films ever made. The music sticks in your head and every time I put in my Oldboy-DVD and the theme-song comes up, I'm just flooded with good memories (even though the plot doesn't have a single reason to be happy about). The characters are also presented very well by the outstanding cast. Especially Choi Min-Sik and Yu Ji-Tae set a very convincing performance.
I really appreciate this film being respected as it should be, by having a place in the top 250. If, however, it was up to me it would be even higher in the ranking. I don't see why films like 'The Usual Suspects' or 'Memento', which are fantastic pieces of film-making and which without a doubt deserve a place in the top 250, are higher in the top 250 than 'Oldboy'. They serve the same cause; a fantastic plot. But those plots can't stand in the shadow or even come close to the plot of 'Oldboy'. The one and only reason is that those two films are better known and from a western production company. If we were all living in Asia, no doubt 'Oldboy' would be in the top 20 of all time.
My advice to people who haven't watched this film yet: Go see it! This is definitely a must- see. If you have a weak stomach, pull yourself together and still watch it. Don't be as shallow as a lot of people here tend to be. Look beyond the violence and see the things I mentioned before: world class acting, cinematography, music and last but certainly not least the plot. Once you've opened yourself up you'll find a whole new world of cinema. Enjoy!
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