Photo credits

The Embalse de Riano in northern Spain. The picture was taken by .... me!

Tuesday, September 11

Old Boy film review

Well, I only caught bits of this while channel surfing the other night.  I came in to it late, and it was going on till 1:25am so I had to force myself up to bed.

Its in Korean, with subtitles.

Very very good - the bits that I saw.  I suggest you look at the wikipedia page for a full plot description.

I liked it becasue it didn't have the gloss that hollywood has even when it is trying to show something gritty.  This really was gritty.  The sets were just perfectly dingy.  The attractive girl  - wasn't.  The hero won every fight, of course, but it was a much fairer fight  than hollywood would have been.  I loved the scene in the corridor, where he beats up all the baddy henchmen while at the same time convincing you that it is actually his sheer desperation - rather than plot exigencies and choreography - that gets him through.  And I loved the understated comedy when the same henchmen appear in a later scene with discrete crutches and neck-braces.  And having checked the full plot on wikipedia, I think the final plot twists that bring the story to a close are sheer genius.

The film is primarily about vengence - in particular being the victim of vengence when you don't know what you did to offend in the first place.  It talks about trust, and the consequences of not trusting.  It talks about the bitterness of revenge.  And it talks about how even when we think we are finally free and OK, we are still trapped by our enemies even after they have died.

What are the unintended spiritual messages?

I can't put them into words.  I suppose its the grimyness of a world without God, in which the devil and his ways hold sway.  Violent, sunless, ugly, lonely, manipulated by dark malevolent forces .

But God is so all-pervading that even in a Godless world he still shines through, with themes of love and trst coming out in the bleakest of times.

I'm sure I would write better if I had seen the whole thing.  I suppose the best recommendation is that I still wnat to see the whole thing, even after all the plot spoilers in wikipedia.

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