Excellent Old Boy
I said to myself that I should watch Old Boy before Hollywood murders it. I was about to catch it in the Korean Film Festival last September but it was cancelled due to Typhoon Ondoy. This week I finally got myself a copy of the DVD of the movie.
Old Boy is Oh Dae Su (Choi Min Sik), who got drunk and was arrested by the police. His best friend No Joo Hwan (Ji Dae Han) managed to bail him out of prison. Joo Hwan was just calling someone on the payphone when Dae Su disappears from his side. He was kidnapped and placed in a room for fifteen years. After that period he was released and just like his abduction, his release is a mystery to him.
What makes Old Boy stand out from the rest is that it has everything you’re looking for in a movie. It was intelligent, heartwarming and disgusting at the same time. Everyone is talking about the memorable octopus scene from the movie but I was not prepared for the scene where Dae Su cut his own tongue. Choi Min Sik did a good job in making the unbelievable believable.
Lee Woo Jin (Yoo Ji Tae): You want to torture me, but I can simply kill myself first. Do you want revenge, or do you want the truth?
Old Boy wants to warn us that small things we did in the past can lead to dire consequences in the present. Woo-jin is behind Dae Su’s imprisonment for fifteen years. Dae Su said something about Woo-jin’s sister that became the talk of the town. She can’t take it anymore and it led to her suicide.
But why fifteen years you might ask. Woo Jin planned the worst thing that can happen to any father like Dae Su but his scheme needed time for it to push through. His plan is to release Dae Su and make him fall in love with Mi Do (Kang Hye Jeong), not knowing that she’s his daughter. Dae Su doesn’t want Mi Do to find out about this and he begged Woo Jin to forgive him and this led to the tongue cutting scene.
People say that Old Boy had excessive sex and violence but it is not a Disney movie. It’s for mature audiences. When I say mature, I’m pertaining to those with enough IQ to understand what the movie is trying to convey and go beyond the sex and violent scenes to see the big picture. Old Boy is a must-see and I just hope that the Will Smith remake would give this Park Chan Wook masterpiece some justice.