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
Scenes at the police station with drunken and disorderly Dae-su Oh were the very last scenes the director scheduled to film. Min-sik Choi (Dae-su Oh) ad-libbed most of these "drunken" scenes, including the scene of him playing with toy wings that he bought for his daughter. He also ad-libbed many of his lines during the penthouse scene, including the anthem of his school. See more »
When Lee Woo-jin recalls watching his sister fall from the bridge, there's a cutaway in which his hand is shown with half a pinkie missing, and in the next sequence, his hand is shown with all fingers intact. See more »
If you stand aimlessly at a phone booth on a rainy day, and meet a man whose face is covered by a violet umbrella, I'd suggest that you get close to the TV.
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Chan Park Wook stated on his solo DVD commentary that there is an edited version of Oldboy for television broadcast. It omits some of the more extreme violence and the love scene between Oh Dae Su and Mido. See more »
I decided to check this movie out after Ebert's 4 star rave review, and the cult status this movie has received (and was also intrigued by the sexy-looking Ultimate Edition), so I decided to rent it. I was VERY surprised at how different it was than I expected it to be - I expected a ton of violence and not much in the way of writing or acting. The first time I saw it, I wasn't blown away, just kind of like whatever.
When I watched it for the second time, however, I really started to notice how well it's made, in addition to liking it more. Every shot is bursting with background detail, a great amount of attention on the production design (the theme of a certain color in a scene was restrained, yet perfectly balanced). The actors really gave it all, especially the 2 male leads who really blew me away. The music is a varied mix of beautiful classical music and some pretty cool techno. The screenplay is brilliant; the characters are developed very well, extremely complex, and the plot is not only ingenious, but the payoff and twists are 1000x better than any Shamaylan movie.
Simply put, from a technical point of view, it's one of the best movies ever. From a critic's point of view, it is a very well-done movie that goes a little overboard in sex and violence, and is just a little strange.
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