I’m sure that there are movie goers out there who wouldn’t care to handle the violence in Chan Wook Park’s work. And there’re plenty excruciating moments. Even I turned my head once or twice. Gratuitous? Well, you can make movies without this kind of visual gore, but probably not this movie. Ultimately, it’s a revenge flick, and revenge requires taking it to the limit. But what a visual stylist he is! Gosh, but there are some incredibly framed shots.
In the DVD extras, Park talks about the influence of Kafka. And (it’ll make you think of The Prisoner), the run up of the plot is very Kafkaesque. After a brief drunken interlude in a police station, Oh Dae-su (Choi Min-sik) disappears and is mysteriously imprisoned for an indeterminate length of time. That time stretches into fifteen years. Then the “fun” begins.
I saw this a few years ago, but after watching it, I’m not sure if I saw the whole movie. Some of it I didn’t remember. Oh, well – I won’t forget it this time. I rented this again in anticipation of the release of the director’s vampire flick, which I’ll catch when it comes out here in a few weeks – Thirst.