Oldboy

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Director: Park Chan-wook

 

2003, South Korea, 120 Minutes, 35mm!, Rated R

Program Notes

Co-Presented by the Korean Cultural Center DC

Light Korean appetizers will be provided at 6:30 p.m. before the film is screened.

 

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Oh Dae-su is an ordinary Seoul businessman with a wife and little daughter who, after a drunken night on the town, is locked up in a strange, private prison for 15 years. No one will tell him why he’s there and who his jailer is, but he is kept in reasonably comfortable quarters and has a TV to keep him company. Watching TV though, he discovers he has been framed for his wife’s murder and realizes that, during one of the occasions in which he’s knocked out by gas, someone has drawn blood from him and left it at the scene of the crime. The imprisonment lasts for 15 years until one day when Dae-su finds himself unexpectedly deposited on a grass-covered high-rise roof. He’s determined to discover the mysterious enemy who had him locked up. While he’s eating in a Japanese restaurant, his cell phone rings and a voice dares him to figure out why he was imprisoned.

 

4/4 Stars:
Oldboy is a powerful film not because of what it depicts, but because of the depths of the human heart which it strips bare.” — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

“An explosively exciting psychosexual revenge drama from Korean powerhouse Park Chanwook that makes movies feel alive again.” — Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

“Shakespearean in its violence, Oldboy also calls up nightmare images of spiritual and physical isolation that are worthy of Samuel Beckett or Dostoyevsky.” — Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

 

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival


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