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Entertainment Spotlight – 'Oldboy' (2004)

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With a remake debuting (in select areas) last week, I decided to revisit the original to see what they were up against. Upon re-watching the film, for the first time in several years, I was quickly reminded of just how monumentally entertaining it was, is, and will be on my next viewing -- so this remake has its work cut out for it.

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Said remake is currently playing in the Orlando area, but I highly suggest viewing the original in place of visiting the theater. Allow me to explain…

Catching American’s by storm, Writer/Director Chan-wook Park's ‘Oldboy’ is the story of Dae-Su Oh’s mysterious disappearance by kidnapping, and subsequent, 15 year imprisonment for no reason that is revealed to him during his incarceration.

When he’s mysteriously released, he has but one goal – to figure out why. As the story unfolds, he encounters a Japanese sushi chef, who shares an odd feeling of connection with him and the two try to uncover the mystery together. He also enlists the assistance of his old friend, and the trio embark on a journey involving ultra violence, mystery, and a whole lot of dumplings (more than 15 years worth).

When he does learn the identity of his captor and reason thereof, it is quite shocking, the lengths at which the punishment goes. Ultimately, Dae-Su Oh is forced to make a decision that is actually, morally reprehensible, but is the lesser of two extremely unnerving evils; and gives new meaning to the phrase “ignorance is bliss.”

The original is currently available via Netflix and is well worth enduring the English subtitles over the Korean dialogue.

“Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Weep, and you weep alone…” One of the many memorable quotes from this modern cinematic masterpiece.


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