Directed by Park Chan-wook
Produced by Lim Seung-yong & Kim Dong-ju
Based on the Comic Strip by Tsuchiya Garon & Minegishi Nobuaaki
Written by Hwang Jo-Yu & Im Jun-Hyeong
Cast: Choi Min-sik, Yu Ji-tae, Kang Hye-jeong, Ji Dae-han, Oh Dal-su, Kim Byeong-ok, Kim Su-hyeon, Lee Seung-jin & Yun Su-kyeong

2003/120 mins/Color/DTS
2.35:1 anamorphic/Korean/Korea/NTSC Region 1

Review from the Tartan DVD

On a rainy night, Oh Dae-su (Choi Min-sik) is kidnapped and held capitive in a private dark cell. The kidnapper assasinates his wife and put out clues that incriminate him. He doesn't know what happened to his daughter. The only thing that gives him some company is a television set. It soon becomes his sources of information on the outside world, his entertainer, friend... and lover. Every day he is fed with the exact same fried dumplings. And even though he tries, there's is no way to escape this closed, cold hell.

Fifteen years later, they set him free. Oh Dae-su's captor have given him a goal, a will to live... to find out why and who did all this to him. Soon he starts to think of everyone he might have hurt or caused troubles in his previous life. Through the whole film, Oh Dae-su gives a running monologue explaining all that is happening in the world and in his mind. He soons meets a young female sushi chef, Mido (Kang Hye-jeong) who helps him to find the man responsible for robbing him of a decade and a half of his life. The deeper and closer Oh Dae-su gets to his goal, the more involving the story gets... a story you will have to see for yourself.

Make no mistake about it, OLD BOY is a film about revenge. Once again, Park Chan-wook has created a little masterpiece. Its virtuoso story, haunting cinematography, ambient score, amazing performance from the cast and the shocking and unbearable truth at the end make it one of the year's best. The film also features what has to be one of the most evilish character ever put on celluloid, Evergreen. The film features so many key scenes that one could analyse shot by shot the whole film and find something new everytime. One of the highlight is without a doubt the fight in the hallway, truely brutal and gut-wrenching yet breathtakingly beautiful. In the end, OLD BOY will reach you like no other film did before... it is that powerful.

Its great to see this movie finally coming out in North America even though its two years since I first got the Korean DVD. Does it hold as well now?! You bet!

"Laugh and everyone will laugh. Cry and you will be all alone"

Tartan present the film is its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The image is enhanced for 16x9 television and features a simply stunning transfer with rich, vibrants and nicely saturated colors. There is no imperfection whatsoever. There is three different udio tracks available; a Korean DTS, Korean 5.1 Dolby Digital and a beyond awful dubbed English 5.1 Dolby Digital which you must al avoid. All of them are nicely mixed and crystal clear. OLD BOY is a rather quiet film but when there's action the audio really kicks in. We get easy to read removable English or Spanish subtitles. The film is separated in 16 chapters and features morphing animated menus with music which unfortunately gave away the twist of the movie so beware!

We get a very detailed and informative commentary track from Park Chan-wook and cinematographer Jeong Jeong-hu. There's also an interesting 7 minutes interview with Park, 8 deleted scenes with some that would have been better left in the movie, a "Photo Gallery", the theatrical trailer and the trailer from the winner of the contest organized by Tartan Films. Finally we get trailers for other Tartan Films releases, SYMPATHIE FOR MR.VENGEANCE, H, HEROIC DUO, TETSUO THE IRON MAN, A TALE OF TWO SISTERS and WISHING STAIRS. The disc comes in a keep case which itself is in a cardboard slipcover, a 4 pages booklet, a 12 pages booklet that infold to become a mini poster of SYMPATHIE FOR MR.VENGEANCE, very cool. A superb edition from Tartan Films from one of the best movie of the decade!





This Film Features:

Review by Kim Dubuisson. All Right Reserved. 2005. ©

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