man is inexplicably kidnapped and imprisoned for 15 years
and his wife is brutally murdered. On his release, he is given
a wallet full of money and a mobile phone. A stranger calls
and asks him to try and figure out why he was imprisoned.
A girl appears and promises to help him solve the enigma and
seek vengeance to his cruel fate. As the search progresses,
the man finally comes face to face with his kidnapper, who
proposes a game: if the man discovers the reason for his imprisonment,
his kidnapper will kill himself. If not then the girl will
be killed. He has only five days to unravel the mystery...
again this is another film that I have been lucky enough to
own on import DVD for quite a while now. This fantastic tale
of revenge and sick love was runner-up for the main award
at the Cannes film festival (where it managed to bag the jury
as we all know, awards do not mean that a film is any good
(Just look at Rocky and Forrest Gump, they won
Oscars and were crap). Fortunately this is not the case with
Old Boy. This is a brutal and very uncompromising tale
of bitter revenge which also goes on to ask what kind of love
is the wrong sort of love? Of course I could ruin a major
plot thread of the film but rest assured that when you watch
this film (and you do have to watch it) you will be
shocked and quite upset about what the poor man goes through.
then again you do have to wonder whether or not the guy deserves
this punishment (that's for you to decide).
people may also balk at the 'infamous' squid scene. To be
honest, I was wondering whether or not the lovely people at
the BBFC would allow such a scene to pass. And thankfully
they did. Because although watching a grown man eat a live
octopus is not the most pleasant of experiences, it does give
you the impression that he is desperate and really has been
suffering for the last 15 years.
from all my waffling, all I can really say on the matter is
that you must watch this film. Some of the images presented
are not easy to stomach, but you cannot take your eyes from
them. This is quality film making at its most powerful. Original
and brilliant, this film deserves a place in the collections
of everyone over the age of 18. There are no excuses.
to the surprising bit. Tartan Video has not always been great
with their extras on their Asian Extreme releases. Sometimes
they seem to put the words "Special Edition" on
the cover of a DVD when all they've really included is a trailer
and a couple of short, lightweight interviews (Audition,
I am looking at you). But fortunately for us, they really
have pulled out all the stops for this lovely 2 disc set.
I will list the extras below, but trust me when I say that
they are all fantastic and it's good to see that the effort
has been put in for a fantastic film. Well done Tartan, you
have just raised the bar for Asian DVD extras.
collection includes five audio commentaries; DTS-ES 6.1; Dolby
Digital-EX 6.1; two 'Making of' documentaries; nine deleted
scenes with optional commentaries; an interview with the director;
Cannes Film Festival gala premiere footage; and a short film:
Memory of Old Boy.
there you have it. Amazing film with amazing extras. Do you
the right thing. Buy it.
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