Oldboy

In this 2003 film, we meet Oh Dae-su (Choi Min-sik), after a drunken bender. He behaves like a fool; there’s nothing classical or heroic about him. Flash forward 15 years, however, after Oh’s been mysteriously drugged and imprisoned (losing his wife and daughter during the interim), and a very different, vengeful sort of guy emerges from jail. One thing’s for sure: Somebody really has a grudge against Oh, and the why matters more than the who. Assisted by a friendly young female sushi chef, Mido (Gang Hye-jung), Oh tries to follow the clues toward his past offense. Like Jimmy Stewart in Vertigo, Choi—in a memorable, powerhouse performance—gradually goes bonkers during his quest; he’s so intent on one mystery that he overlooks clues closer to home. In this bold, violent, and surprisingly powerful film, South Korean director Park Chanwook (Mother) is working in the traditions of both Hitchcock and Sophocles. (R) BRIAN MILLER

Fri., April 16, 11:59 p.m.; Sat., April 17, 11:59 p.m., 2010

 
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