Oldboy - Min-sik Choi, Ji-tae Yoo, Hye-jung Gang, Chan-wook Park
Threat advisory: Guarded - General risk of entertaining activities
End of confrontation, one must die.
One day in 1988, an ordinary man named Dae-su Oh (Min-sik Choi), who lives with his wife and adorable daughter, is kidnapped and later wakes up to find himself in a private makeshift prison. Dae-su makes numerous attempts to escape and to commit suicide, but they all end up in failure. All the while Dae-su asks himself what made a man hate him so much enough to imprison him without any reason. While suffering from his debacle, Dae-su becomes shocked when he watches the news and hears that his beloved wife was brutally murdered. At this very moment, Dae-su swears to take revenge on the man who destroyed his happy life.
Fifteen years have passed and Dae-su is released with a wallet filled with money and a mobile phone. An unknown man calls Dae-su and asks him to figure out why he was imprisoned. In front of bewildered Dae-su, a girl named Mi-do (Hye-jeong Kang) appears and she promises to help him seek vengeance after hearing about his 15 years in confinement. With Mi-do's help, Dae-su begins to trace the guy and finally encounters the private prison where he discovers a cassette tape, which only says, "Dae-su Oh talks too much..."
While Dae-su and Mi-do's search goes on, Dae-su finally runs face to face with his kidnapper. The culprit says there will be no way to find out the reason of his imprisonment if Dae-su kills him now. Instead, he proposes a game. He tells Dae-su that if he discovers the reason for his imprisonment in five days, then he will kill himself. If not, he will kill Mi-do. Only five days are given to Dae-su to find out the reason behind the guy's grudge against Dae-su. While doing so, hidden secrets about Dae-su and Mi-do's relationship are revealed.
Theatrical propaganda posters
Target demographic movie keyword propaganda
- Film Korea Korean crime kidnap prison revenge
Persons of interest
- Min-sik Choi .... Dae-su Oh
- Ji-tae Yu .... Woo-jin Lee
- Hye-jeong Kang .... Mi-do
- Dae-han Ji
- Dal-su Oh
- Byeong-ok Kim
- Su-hyeon Kim
- Seung-jin Lee
- Su-kyeong Yun
- Myeong-shin Park
- Jin-seo Yun .... Su-a
- Jo-yun Hwang .... Screenwriter
- Chun-hyeong Lim .... Screenwriter
- Chan-wook Park .... Screenwriter
- Chan-wook Park .... Director
Cinematic intelligence sources
- Oldboy official movie site
- Oldboy film production notes
- Oldboy QuickTime movie trailers
- Awards and film festivals:
- Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films Saturn Awards 2006: Nominated: Best Action/Adventure/Thriller Film
- Bangkok International Film Festival 2005: International Competition
- Cannes Film Festival 2004: Won: Grand Prize of the Jury (Chan-wook Park); Nominated: Golden Palm (Chan-wook Park)
- Coreaction Film Festival: Screening
- ERA - New Horizon Film Festival: Screening
- Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 2003: Screening
- Korean Film Festival (Australia) 2004: Screening
- Melbourne International Film Festival 2004: Direct From Cannes, Regional Focus
- Moscow International Film Festival: Screening
- Munich Film Festival 2003: Screening
- Online Film Critics Society Awards 2005: Nominated: Best foreign-language (non-English) film
- São Paulo International Film Festival 2004: International perspective
- Toronto International Film Festival 2004: Contemporary World Cinema
- NB: Korean language dialogue with English language subtitles
- Studios and distributors:
Special Agent Matti
There are so many ways Oldboy could've gone, not the least of which is to an English-as-a-first-language subtitler. Oy.
There's a lot of intrigue and not-telling-the-truth and a really interesting concept that doesn't get the amount of detailed attention that it deserves: people are kidnapped and secretly locked in a hotel-room-like cell as a form of punishment. How nuts would you go?
The darkness and intensity of Oldboy remind me a lot of Infernal affairs (Wu jian dao) even though it doesn't reach those inspiring heights. It's also too long by 12 minutes. And the cute guys are baddies. Ah well, if Asian crime cinema is your thing then you'll get a hit from Oldboy but you'll still prefer the real thing.
Security censorship classification
120 minutes (2:00 hours)
Not for public release in Australia before date
Film: 24 February 2005