A man is kidnapped and held hostage for years in solitary confinement. When he is inexplicably released, he embarks on an obsessive mission to discover who orchestrated his punishment, only to find he is still trapped in a web of conspiracy and torment.
You never stopped to ask the most fundamental question of all: Why did I let you go?
You won’t be sure whether to cheer or go to confession after you watch these intriguing and daring films! Oldboy is an amazing Korean film from 2003 directed by Chan-wook Park, who you might know from directing another incestuous film Stoker. Just recently, in 2013, there was an American remake by Spike Lee and I am happy to say that Lee’s is just as sick and twisted as the original. It is a film that probably wouldn’t have been made (or at least not to the large scale it was) if it weren’t for the acclaimed original. While a lot of critics feel that the sequel is a waste, I think that it is another way to get a great story like this out there to people who may not otherwise be subjected to it, or have access to the original. The films are shameless and depraved, and I am sure many people went into the film being absolutely shocked (and possibly disgusted.)
The inspiration for the Korean hit was actually a Japanese manga, that is why Park’s film has such an illustrated and visual feel. He also uses surrealism and fantastic semiotics that really adds to the film, like the angel wings.
I would recommend viewing this original version first so you can enjoy and understand all the references and homages in Spike Lee’s re-imagining.