Park Chan-wook (2003)

18 Certificate


Our Score
Director Park Chan-wook demonstrated that his critically acclaimed Sympathy for Mr Vengeance was no flash in the pan when he received the Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes film festival for this mind-bending action thriller. Choi Min-sik plays the happily married father who is kidnapped and incarcerated for no apparent reason. He's then horrified to discover that his wife has been murdered with himself as the principal suspect. Fifteen years of unexplained Kafka-esque detention follow. Suddenly, he wakes up to find himself free and gets down to the serious business of vengeance by leaving a trail of blood and mayhem that would make Quentin Tarantino proud. Some viewers will be repulsed by scenes of self-mutilation and the most painful visit to the dentist since Dustin Hoffman and Laurence Olivier's tête-à-tête in Marathon Man. However, Oldboy has more to offer than action and violence - it's an imaginative tale of guilt and revenge, with a shocking climactic twist.


A man is abducted and locked away in a small room for 15 years then suddenly set free, with no explanation for why he was incarcerated. Bewildered and disorientated, he struggles to adapt to his new-found freedom, but vows to find out what has become of his family and who his captors were so he can mete out his own brand of revenge. Thriller, directed by Park Chan-wook, starring Choi Min-sik, Gang Hye-jung and Yu Ji-tae. In Korean.

Cast & Crew

Oh Dae-su Choi Min-sik
Lee Woo-jin Yu Ji-tae
Mido Gang Hye-jung
No Joo-hwan Chi Dae-han
Park Cheol-woong Oh Dal-su
Chief guard (Mr Han) Kim Byeong-ok
Yoo Hyung-ja Lee Seung-shin
Lee Soo-ah Yoon Jin-seo
Beggar Lee Dae-yun
Suicide man Oh Gwang-rok
Director Park Chan-wook
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Other Information

Language: Korean +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: TartanGuidance: Violence, swearing, sex scenes, nudity.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 15 Oct 2004