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Old Boy Film Review

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Old Boy Film Review

Old Boy is a 2003 South Korean film directed by Park Chan-Wook. It is based on the Japanese manga of the same name written by Minegishi Nobuaki and Tsuchiya Garon. Old Boy is the second installment of The Vengeance Trilogy, preceded by Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and followed by Sympathy for Lady Vengeance.
The film follows the story of one Oh Dae-Su, who is locked in a hotel room for 15 years without knowing why. When he is finally released, Dae-Su is still fighting to understand what has happened and why. His attempts to uncover the story lead to more violence and a romance with devastating consequences.

According to Wikipedia, the film won the Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. Film critic Roger Ebert has claimed that Old Boy is a "powerful film not because of what it depicts, but because of the depths of the human heart which it strips bare.” In 2008, voters on CNN named it one of the ten best Asian films ever made.

This is not a film I would use in my classroom unless I were doing a unit on vengeance, which would not be a bad idea because there are so many good issues with the topic, but the problem is finding time in the schedule. I do like that it has a print version that is available online. I’m reading it now! It is available at as well as other sites. Check it out.
edited by srodrigues on 7/20/2012

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Message from sfoster

My son, who is a college sophomore, brought this very very disturbing film to my attention... violence, blood, torture and incest... which is notable for the level of how disturbing it really is...

clay dube
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Message from Clay Dube

Here's an Asia Pacific Arts review of Old Boy:
For current APA articles (including reviews of new films from Asia), go to .