Probably the single most talked about film in Korea last year was Pak Chan-wook's controversial Old Boy. Based on a Japanese comic book of the same name, the film is a tale of revenge, as was Pak's last film, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance. It stars Choi Min-shik, who was brilliant as painter Jang Seung-up in 2002's Chihwaseon.
The story tells of a man who is kidnapped and held prisoner for reasons unknown. Fifteen years later, he is released on the street with a wallet full of cash, a cell phone, and a burning desire to figure out exactly what happened to him.
Kyu Hun Kim (of koreanfilm.org) has the following to say about Choi Min-shik's performance:
Choi Min-shik, looking like a mangled lion with a hyena-chomped black mane, gives the most electrifying performance of his career. His role runs the gamut from the Lee Marvin-like taciturn heroics of a seventies crime thriller to the spectacular implosion of a broken man, pitifully wailing and literally licking the shoes of his enemy, and everything in between.
Wow! It's Filmbrain's guess that the reaction in Cannes will be heavily divided, as has been the case of late with controversial films -- this seems to be a love it or hate it film.
The DVD (Region-3 only) will be available in early May, giving you a chance to see it before Quentin does. Pre-orders are being accepted here.
Check out the trailer -- it looks very interesting.