Oldboy movie review & analysis Korean (2003)

5/5 - (1 vote)
Oldboy 2003

Director: Park Chan-wook

Wrtier: Garon Tsuchiya, Nobuaki Minegishi, Park Chan-wook,

Stars: Choi Min-sik Yoo Ji-Tae Kang Hye-jeong


Summary: After being kidnapped and imprisoned for fifteen years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in five days.

Oldboy Trailer
Oldboy Review

Unlike most revenge-oriented plots, which fill the viewer with a heroic feeling, Oldboy is filled with a special feeling: a feeling of condemnation and horror. Not only because of its tragic ending, but also because of the uneasy and irritating atmosphere that is felt in all moments of the movie.

In this movie, the decision to take revenge is not pleasant and attractive, but frightening. Thus, when we reach the end, we are shocked by the fact that the most insignificant and clichéd character of the whole movie is actually the most important of them all.

Oldboy Dae-su Oh with hammer fighting scene

Oldboy starts by creating a turbulent, anxious, and unstable atmosphere, and gradually uses all the available factors and elements to enhance the effect, as if we were dealing with a mysterious and psychological movie. A captivating narrative that makes the final blow of the movie seems very effective. Although Chan-Wook’s inspirations are clear, from Hitchcock’s vertigo to Tarantino’s work, Chan-wook has combined them all with the characteristics of Asian cinema in such a way that the result is completely new and transformative experience.

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As a result, the movie, which is at first a logic-free action, aims at your heart with its deep emotions. The first setting, the prison, is introduced as the symbolic space of the mind of “Dae-su Oh”. The prison motivates him to take revenge, and this is the goal and belief that grows in his subconscious.

Choi Min-sik Dae-su Oh Oldboy

In parallel, his instinct is gradually inflamed and strengthened until the desire for revenge and the instinct become a single and common element, ready to be satisfied. When he comes out of prison, we enter the second setting of the movie which is the atmosphere of modern and civilized South Korean society, which allows him to satisfy his instincts and take revenge. Even though Oldboy seems to be a deconstructive movie about morality, it takes a critical look at the problem of the intrusion of power into the privacy of the individual.

Choi Min-sik Dae-su Oh Oldboy

In this movie, the character of “Woo-Jin Lee” is a symbol of dominance and power, a person who relies on his power to change someone’s fate and make decisions for them. He also uses advanced listening devices and other equipment to learn all the details of his life that were once connected to him. He crosses all existing red lines and has sex with his sister in a situation that is completely contrary to society, and even more unscrupulously tries to put “Dae-su Oh” in a similar situation.

Dae-su Oh fighting scene at Oldboy Movie

Woo-Jin Lee, as a symbol of power, takes revenge on the lower strata of society. But what he avenges are the very thoughts that dominate this class and that lead to the death of his sister. The death of his sister can be seen as the beginning of moral death in Eastern societies. This morality has overshadowed the original and historical civilization of the East through the investment system and the invasion of Western culture.

Dae-su Oh oldboy scissors fighing

Oldboy is the life story of people who have reached the point of emptiness. In this movie “Park Chan-Wook” shows people who are committed to nothing. This lack of commitment to oneself and society is in direct contrast to the customs and traditions of East Asian societies, especially South Korea, which has the ancient symbol of yin and yang on its flag.

Yoo Ji-Tae Woo-jin Lee in Oldboy gun in elevator killing

In cinema and in the line of movement of ordinary stories, it is rare that the negative character of the story becomes a lasting tragedy in our minds at the end of the movie. “Woo-Jin Lee” put a big question in our minds during the movie and pressed us to answer it in a sick way, and causes us to honestly express our hatred for this character. Nevertheless, when reality comes out, we are forced to forgive him. What is even sadder is that “Dae-su Oh” does not forgive himself, and this makes the viewer’s grief more lasting than imagined. Oldboy can be summed up in one sentence, regardless of its external and internal symbols:

Sometimes a person’s past brings itself to the present in such a way that we have no choice but to revisit the past and pay for it. Let’s Take care of ourselves now because in the future this will be our past.

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Oldboy ending explained:

By the movie’s conclusion, we discover that Dae-su has actually been living with his adult daughter ever since the night he escaped from prison. Lee Woo-jin, however, never elaborates on what actually transpired with Dae-wife. su’s In one way or another, it appears likely that Dae-wife su’s passed away while he was incarcerated.

Did the hypnosis work at the end of Oldboy?

He laughs maniacally when he hugs Mi-do since he knows the secret and will have to keep it forever. The hypnosis didn’t work.

Does Oldboy have a plot twist?

Oldboy, a 2003 film, is well known for its horrific third act narrative twist, but this South Korean neo-noir masterpiece has one moment that is much worse. Oldboy’s climactic plot revelation, which debuted in 2003, is considered among the most unsettling movie twists ever, but behind-the-scenes video reveals that another moment is actually worse.

is Oldboy a good movie? Is it a masterpiece?

One of the most gruesome, breath-taking, and excellent revenge films ever produced. Particularly Choi’s performance as Dae-su Oh, the main protagonist, the acting is superb. All the players were excellent, but his was the most emotionally charged (all you need to do is see the infamous squid scene).

Who is the villain in Oldboy?

The primary antagonist in the 2003 South Korean film Oldboy is Lee Woo-jin.

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Oldboy Quotes
Dae-su Oh: Laugh and the world laughs with you. Weep and you weep alone.
Woo-jin Lee: Remember this: "Be it a rock or a grain of sand, in water they sink as the same."
Dae-su Oh: If they had told me it was going to be fifteen years, would it have been easier to endure?
Dae-su Oh: Even though I'm no more than a monster - don't I, too, have the right to live?
Woo-jin Lee: Your gravest mistake wasn't failing to find the answer. You can't find the right answer if you ask the wrong questions.
Dae-su Oh: Can 10 years' worth of imaginary training... be put to use?
Dae-su Oh: [Dae-su beats up his assailants] Apparently, it can.
Dae-su Oh: [on receiving three chopsticks with his prison rations] All I could think about in that moment was the guy in the next room was eating with only one chopstick.
Dae-su Oh: [after getting knocked over and taking a drag of a cigarette] "Dick-shit"... a new word. Television doesn't teach you swear words.
Woo-jin Lee: Your tongue got my sister pregnant! It wasn't Woo-jin Lee's dick; it was Dae-su Oh's tongue!
Dae-su Oh: Who the hell are you?
Woo-jin Lee: Me? I'm a sort of scholar. And my major is you. A scholar studying Dae-su Oh; an expert on Dae-su Oh.
Mi-do: [looking around the inside of Dae-su's "cell"] You stayed in a place like this for fifteen years?
Dae-su Oh: Yeah, but after the first eleven it felt like home.
Dae-su Oh: Revenge is good for your health, but pain will find you again.
Dae-su Oh: [after a huge fight] As I expected, I can't get along with anyone today either.
Dae-su Oh: How's life in a bigger prison, Dae-su?
Dae-su Oh: Why'd you lock me up, you [tries to think of the word]
Dae-su Oh: ... dick-shit?
Dae-su Oh: If by any chance Mido should find out the truth, you son of a bitch, I'm going to rip you limb from limb. And your remains will never be found. Why? Because I'm going to swallow every last bit.
Mr. Park: You see, they say that people shrivel up because they have an imagination. So, don't imagine anything, you'll become brave as hell.
Woo-jin Lee: You want to torture me, but I can simply kill myself first. Do you want revenge, or do you want the truth?
Woo-jin Lee: My sister and I loved each other, despite everything. Can you two do the same?
Dae-su Oh: The TV is both a clock and a calendar. It's your school, your home, your church, your friend...[Dae-su masturbates to a pop star onscreen]
Dae-su Oh: ... and your lover. But... my lover's song is too short.
Dae-su Oh: You need not worry about the future, Imagine nothing.
Dae-su Oh: [after a very messy beating] Anyone here with an AB blood type, raise your hand.
Dae-su Oh: [Dae-su is about to use a clawhammer to yank out someone's teeth] Each one I yank out will make you age for one year. Ready to talk?
Woo-jin Lee: And now... now, what joy will I have left to live for?
Woo-jin Lee: You really are the very monster I created, aren't you? But you won't find out the "why" of this if you kill me. Fifteen years of being curious would go to waste.
Mi-do: Very lonely people that I met... they all hallucinated ants at one time.
Dae-su Oh: Erasing my memory and telling me to find the truth was cowardly. I won. So die like you promised.
Dae-su Oh: If you stand aimlessly at a phone booth on a rainy day, and meet a man whose face is covered by a violet umbrella, I'd suggest that you get close to the TV.
Mr. Park: We put a hypnosis-inducing drug in your water
Dae-su Oh: Sodium barbiturate?
Mr. Park: Ha! TV Man knows it all!
Mi-do: What should I pray for?
Dae-su Oh: Dear Lord, next time let me meet a younger man.
Dae-su Oh: I thought I'd lived a simple life. But I've sinned too much
Mi-do: Dae Su. In front of me is some kind of box. He's telling me to open it. It's the same violet box...
Dae-su Oh: No! No Mi-do don't. Don't open it no matter what. Or something terrible will happen.
Dae-su Oh: When the melody turns on, gas comes out. When the gas comes out, I fall asleep. I found out later it's the same Valium gas the Russians used on those Chechen terrorists.
Woo-jin Lee: What I am isn't important. WHY is important.
Woo-jin Lee: I'm going to kill every woman you love until you die. You're notorious for not protecting your women.
Oldboy Subtitles

2 responses to “Oldboy movie review & analysis Korean (2003)”

  1. Kunal says:

    Someone’s eyes and ears need to be cleaned if they awarded this a grade of 1, 2, or even 3. Such a painfully beautiful film with clever plot turns. A fantastic watch keeps you constantly on the edge of your seat, wondering what will happen next. really original storyline, never before seen, and excellent scene-setting. It was the kind of movie that, at the end, left you with a mixture of bitter and pleasant feelings.

  2. Best Advice says:

    This is a truly convoluted and weird movie experience. It is sinister and gloomy in ways you wouldn’t imagine.be it the director, story, acting, or action. Korean films are a cut above other world cinema. The fact that they specialize in creating emotionally charged, suspenseful thrillers is what sets them apart, and oldboy is unquestionably at the top of the list.
    9.5/10 nothing less than a work of art

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