Irish Film Institute -OLDBOY


Director: Chan-Wook Park

120 mins, South Korea, 2003, Digital, Subtitled

This film was released on Friday 2nd August 2019 and is no longer screening. 

Often cited as one of the best films of the 2000s, Oldboy is a brutal, lyrical modern classic of the revenge genre. The film tells the tale of Oh Dae-su (Choi Min-sik), a businessman who is inexplicably kidnapped and imprisoned in a hotel room-like cell for 15 years, without knowing his captor or the reason for his incarceration. Eventually released, he learns of his wife’s murder and embarks on a quest for revenge whilst also striking up a romance with a young sushi chef, Mi-do (Kang Hye-jeong).

He ultimately finds his tormentor, but their final encounter will yield yet more unimaginable horrors. Directed with immense flair by Park Chan-wook (The Handmaiden) as the second instalment of his Vengeance Trilogy, Oldboy is an irresistible concoction of filmmaking virtuosity, ingenious plotting, pathos and bracing violence.

(Notes by David O’Mahony.)

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