2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Deep rooted revenge thriller with a splash of martial action,
This review is from: Oldboy (Two-Disc Special Edition) [DVD]  (DVD)
I enjoyed this movie and the 1 hour 50 minutes flew by. I was engrossed throughout however I did find myself getting lost a couple of times but I did manage to find my way back into the plot. The lead character is frustrating at periods but that is a credit to the plot and his excellent acting and that of the support acting aswell. It is a Korean movie based upon the theme of revenge. One ordinary, self assured citizen is taken prisoner and locked inside a single room for 15 years for apparently no reason. The movie then focuses on the period outside of prison and looks at the prisoners attempt to discover his captor and most importantly why he was imprisoned. The whole motivation of the movie is to try and get the viewer to cram themselves into the perspective of someone whose whole life is centralised upon revenge. They live for revenge. I think the movie does an excellent job of doing just that.
It is gritty and unwholesome, perverse and disturbing and the acting is exceptional. It is a martial arts movie in the weakest of dilution. There are about two fight scenes in nearly a 2 hour movie. One of those fight scenes is marvelous and portayed with human flawed realism. In this scene the main character battles his way through a corridor of vilainous types.
One of the themes that the movie keeps returning to is a quote that is on a picture on the wall of the man's prison that reads 'laugh and the whole world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone'. This stays with the lead man throughout and as a result there is a dark humour that simmers on the general disturbing portrayal of revenge.
I would recommend this film to anyone who likes their movies to have a gripping plot, a thriller, to lay bare raw human emotions and just a splash of action.
This wasn't the greatest movie ever but I am glad I watched it.