a great movie, little known outside USSR, and ??Japan?? i watched the a version based on the Japanese subtitled DVD, apparently it had only been released in Japan(?) the story is touching, heroic, and as follows the poetic filming of that era (eg ballad of a soldier, crane flying south).
one of the most under-rated soviet B&W movies, and one where Germans are not stereotypically bad (when a German soldier did something terrible the rest showed faces which looked like disapproval)
Even if i am worse than a beast, don't i deserve the right to live?
"Even if i am worse than a beast, don't i deserve the right to live?" this summarizes the theme of the movie. it is a humanitarian view on love, sex, "morality", respsonibility (to family and to others) and tolerance.
Oldboy is not about violence, and it is unfair to put this to the same category with fight club. it is about "revenge", that the best revenge end up as forgiving.
it has the best plot of all movies in recent years and it is beautifully made. incredulous yet the director tied all the knot so well that the story is convincing.
i will skip the storyline introduction as there has already been so many reviews and discussions about this.
A MUST see. days after you watched it, the image, the movie, the story will stay in your head.
****spoiler below to illustrate the points above****
on forgiving: -- the movie is about Woojin's revenge, and about Daesu's reflection on how he was turned into a monster of revenge.
-- it is about Woojin's forgiving Daesu and Mido, when he asked Mr Park to keep the box closed
-- it is about the futility of revenge, and wrongness of persistence on revenge, as demonstrated at the remote control scene
-- it is about remorse and the need to always try to see from your enemy's perspective, which is the reason Mrs Yoo (hypnotists) finally agreed to help Daesu
-- it is about letting go of your monster side, as Mido has asked Daesu to do when she suggested running away, and when she prayed for Woojin and Daesu making peace with each other
this is a very powerful movie, well made, beautiful shots, very pretty and lovable actress.
BUT (i agree with the other reviewer), you want to trash the disc right away after you are done. by error i watched this movie with Dancer in the Dark back to back, torturing myself to the abyss of hell! i hate this movie, but i still rate it highly. it has achieve its job of making me hate it so much. it is a powerful movie, so powerful that one wish one had a time machine to go back change all that, or at least go back to change Joan Chen's script. if i were the Chinese censorship official , i would also be inclined to ban it (sort of NC-17), or at least requires the distributor to put a cigarette box warning note on VCD/DVD box.
all said, i mean this as a compliment for a well made movie.
some other notes: 1. china was bad in that era, but a story like that is extremely rare. 2. the sex scene is overdone. the same effect could be achieved without that cart-pushing scene
the best drama by WONG KAR WAI...the only one with a real story!
while Wong Kar Wai's movies are watchable even thought there is no real story. this movie has one, and it is his best achievement. the 2 best HK movies in the 1980's are A Better Tomorrow and As Tear Goes By. But this movie somehow had not got the attention abroad