Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Oldboy (2003)

In the process of catching up on the iMDB.com top 250 films, I decided to watch the Chan Wook-Park 2003 film Oldboy.

I was specifically interested in this film because Spike Lee's remake is coming out in a few week's staring Josh Brolin. 

Watching this film, which is very stylized, creative, and more violent than my typical taste I still found myself captivated by the unique narrative and modern film style. The story deals with a man who has been locked up in a hotel-like room for 15 years, without knowing why he is there. During that time one of the things he does is reflect on his life and who he might have angered to lead to his capture. He documents tons of names, coming to a point of personal regret and anguish. Upon his release he tries to figure out who had captured him and seeks revenge.

It's one of those films where the set up is very controlled and the story places out methodically (but surprisingly) one scene-after-scene to it's final compelling climax with all the reveals and mysterious finally unraveled.

There has been talk for awhile for a remake with various cast members and directors. The new version staring Josh Brolin directed by Spike Lee certainly looks equally interesting and stylized. Watching the trailer it seems like Spike Lee has definitely taken the general tone, story and imagry that was associated with the initial film.
Will I watch the Spike Lee version? Probably not - knowing where the film is going takes away the intrigue for me, and I don't feel the need to watch this film again (even a different version). It's dark nature doesn't compel me to revisit it, at least anytime soon.  

1 comment:

Loren Eaton said...

I've been interested in Oldboy too, but its reputation for hyperviolence has kept it low on my Netflix queue.