Top International Films to Watch in Isolation: Oldboy
Max Ingleby suggests watching Oldboy in order to forget about the troubles of the world.
Along with feeling lonely and bored, I am sure that many of us are experiencing a degree of anger and frustration whilst stuck indoors and isolated from our friends. Well, the Korean neo-noir thriller Oldboy (2003) is the perfect film to help you channel all that rage and confusion, with a blistering mix of intense emotion and stunningly choreographed fight scenes.
Oh Dae-su is kidnapped and wakes up in a room with no windows, just a bed, a bathroom and a TV. Food is delivered by a silent guard through a hatch in the door. He has no idea why he is imprisoned, how long he is going to be there and who is behind his complete isolation. Fifteen, long, gruelling years pass, during which almost loses his sanity, and trains relentlessly by copying the boxers he sees on his television. One day, he is suddenly drugged and wakes up on top of an apartment building dressed in an expensive suit. He proceeds to seek revenge and the truth.
A must watch for anyone who needs an emotional release in these strange times.
A cathartic watch for anyone self-isolating, Oldboy is a staggering piece of art, and it revolves around the highly physical and utterly committed performance of lead actor Choi Min-sik. Every aspect, from the toe-curling violence, to the detailed production design and the masterful screenplay, has obviously been pored over and tweaked to perfection – the pure craft of the film makes it essential viewing. It’s one of those movies that makes you want to look away, but pulls you closer with every passing second, until the explosive final act leaves you reeling. A must watch for anyone who needs an emotional release in these strange times.