Oldboy — Revenge served piercingly cold in this South Korean masterpiece

Bollywood has its very own successful trilogy of the Shakespearean plays Macbeth, Othello and Hamlet. These are Vishal Bhardwaj-directed Maqbool, Omkara and Haider, respectively. On the other hand, Hollywood offers Nolan’s Batman trilogy, which a superhero fan cannot help falling in love with. Both these cinematic experiences are highly intense, brimming with drama and echoing with emotions.

South Korea’s The Vengeance Trilogy treats you to drama, emotional intensity and depths of the human heart.

The Vengeance Trilogy Series
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Pinterest

The second installment of this trilogy is the masterpiece Oldboy that grips you with its storytelling right since onset. By the end of this rollercoaster ride, your head would probably be spinning with several dark thoughts. But if you have enjoyed Darren Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream then Old Boy is a movie a cinephile must watch!

Here’s why.

Old Boy Poster
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Western Film
The plot, direction and star cast

With a run time of 2 hours, at no point in time, the intensity mellows. As the story develops and moves ahead, you immerse deeper into the plot. Throughout the movie, you are increasingly intrigued to find out why the victim is being tortured. The story unfolds with a viewer’s curiosity reaching its peak. The climax leaves the audience numb with a sunken heart.

This movie has a mixed cast of established and new actors, such as Min-Sik Choi, Ji-Tae Yu and Hye-Jeong Kang. The performances are gripping and pay full justice to the screenplay and the plot. Every small detail — body language and facial expressions — and bigger ones — dialogue delivery and action — are paid attention. The viewers are kept at the edge of their seats leading to several nail-biting moments. The story takes you through the dark alleys and bustling markets as well as the upscale towers of a city. Every location change looks authentic and runs seamlessly with the storyline. All this has been delivered with Park Chan-wook helming the project and bringing alive this grim world with his directorial wand.

Choi Min-sik
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Wikipedia
Accolades and applause

South Korean films began to gain recognition on several international platforms in the 2000s. This is due in part to the contributions of Oldboy’s director Park Chan-wook. Oldboy received abundant praise from directors like Quentin Tarantino and Spike Lee. It won the Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.

Oldboy Star Cast at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival
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Los Angeles Times

The movie was remade in Bollywood and Hollywood in 2006 (Sanjay Gupta-directed Zinda) and 2013 (Spike Lee-directed Old Boy). But none of them managed to a cast a spell that the original did.

Zinda Movie Poster
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IMDb