Why it’s famous:
Based on the popular Manga series of the same name, Oldboy is one of three stories that make up the The Vengeance Trilogy. The film follows Oh Dae-su, a businessman that, after falling on hard times, is kidnapped and placed in a single room for 15 years.
After he is released, Oh Dae-su is immersed in a world of violence and mystery as he tries to find the person responsible for locking him up. After falling in love with a young and attractive sushi chef, the two search to answer not only the question of who, but why?
Why you haven’t seen it:
Since Oldboy is a South Korean film, it received a fairly limited release in North America. It was showed at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Sundance Film festival but didn’t see the inside of any conventional movie theatres.
Oldboy has grossed a generous cult following over the years but has only become popular in the mainstream since the release of its North American remake in 2013, starring Josh Brolin and directed by Spike Lee.
Why it might be tough to get through:
Since Oldboy is a foreign language film, it must be enjoyed with the help of subtitles. The movie is also very sexually graphic and contains several scenes of blood and gore, so it may not be for everyone.
Why you should watch it anyways:
Oldboy is unlike any film you’ll ever see—it delivers emotionally and doesn’t fail to surprise and entice its viewers right up to the closing credits. It’s unique with a perfect blend of genres.
Oldboy is a beautiful mess of blood and gore that still manages to show a sense of romanticism. It brings to life the darkest of human emotion and desire and shows how far some men will go to find the truth.
Dae-su Oh: “Laugh and the world laughs with you. Weep and you weep alone.”
Dae-su Oh: “Even though I’m no more than a monster—don’t I, too, have the right to live?”
Woo-jin Lee: “Your gravest mistake wasn’t failing to find the answer. You can’t find the right answer if you ask the wrong questions.”
Dae-su Oh: (after getting knocked over and taking a drag of a cigarette) “”Dick-shit”… a new word. Television doesn’t teach you swear words.”
Dae-su Oh: (after a huge fight) “As I expected, I can’t get along with anyone today either.”
Dae-su Oh: “Revenge is good for your health, but pain will find you again.”
Several live octopi were eaten whole in the sushi bar scene, when Min-sik Choi, the actor who plays Oh Dae-su, requests to eat something living.
Min-sik Choi is a Buddhist and had to pray after eating the octopus.
Min-sik Choi trained for six weeks and lost 20 lbs for the role. He also did the majority of his stunt work.
The code for the elevator to the penthouse is 0604. When entered in the official website, it leads to the official guest book.