Oldboy Chan-wook Park

Oldboy Chan-wook Park
There's a moment in Oldboy that has the same gut-wrenching feeling as watching Divine eat the dog poop in Pink Flamingos, and the same shock value as discovering Stephen Rea's "girlfriend" has a member in The Crying Game. You'll know it when you see it — it's impossible not to, unless you have the inner workings of Robby the Robot. But the nerve that Park strikes in Oldboy is a fitting climax to such a disturbingly exhausting film. Dae-su Oh (Min-sik Choi) is a drunken businessman who's mysteriously kidnapped one rainy night and held captive in an unknown hotel room. For 15 years, Dae-su lives the same routine everyday, making a list of those who could have done this to him, preparing for his vengeance through training as a fighter and gaining knowledge of the outside world via television. When he is released one day, he quickly jumps into revenge mode, even though his actions are carefully controlled by his captor. Befriending a young woman, who acts as his aide and lover, Dae-su must figure out his torturer's reason for taking him hostage in order to be truly free. Oldboy is a deeply affecting movie of extremities that explores the limits of the heart and mind, as well as how any man can scarf down an octopus with such ease. Unfortunately, the extras are hardly of the same calibre. The director and cinematographer's commentary (done in subtitles) has the complete reverse effect of the film, concentrating more on how every scene was shot from a technical standpoint. Admittedly, it is Park's first shot at commentary, but nonetheless, it's virtually unwatchable. The deleted scenes as well are wasteful and pointless. They come aplenty, however, adding nothing but some length to scenes that were cut for a reason. Despite the special features' shortcomings, this is still a DVD that will forever leave your collection with an irrepressible chill. (Alliance Atlantis)