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Old Boy 2003



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 Nobuaki Minegishi and Garon Tsuchiya. The film won the Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival and high praise from the President of the Jury, director Quentin Tarantino. Critically, the film has been well received in the United States, with an 80% "Certified Fresh" rating at Rotten Tomatoes.


Directed by : Park Chan-wook
Produced by : Lim Seng-yong
Written by : Hwang Jo-yun, Park Chan-wook, Lim Chun-hyeong, Lim Joon-hyung, Garon Tsuchiya
Starring : Choi Min-sik, Yu Ji-tae, Kang Hye-jeong
Music by : Jo Yeong-wook
Cinematography : Chung Chung-hoon
Distributed by : Show East
Release date: 21 November 2003

Plot :

Businessman Oh Dae-su (Choi Min-sik) is bailed out from a police station by his friend Joo-Hwan (Ji Dae-han) after a drunken fight on the night of his daughter's birthday. Dae-su calls her on a public phone, but as Joo-Hwan takes the call, Dae-su is kidnapped. Placed in solitary confinement with no explanation, Dae-su is fed dumplings through a narrow slot. Receiving information through a television, he discovers his wife has been murdered, his daughter sent to foster parents and that he himself is the prime suspect. Hallucinating, his attempts at suicide are prevented by regular gassing into unconsciousness. He begins to train and shadowbox; hardening his knuckles by punching the wall. 15 years later, as he digs an escape opening, he is suddenly set free with a suit on a rooftop.

Dae-su's captor gives him a cellphone through a stranger and Dae-su visits a restaurant, where he meets young sushi chef Mi-do (Kang Hye-jeong), who brings him to her home. Dae-su realizes he is being tracked through calls and Mi-do's instant messaging service. Managing to locate his prison through the restaurant that supplied the dumplings, he tortures the warden for information and finds only tape recordings of his captor that reveal Dae-su talked too much. Using a hammer he fights his way out through numerous goons, but suffers a knife wound. A stranger places him in a taxi, only to identify Dae-su. The man, Woo-jin (Yoo Ji-tae), reveals himself as Dae-su's kidnapper and tells Dae-su to discover his motives. Mi-do will die if he fails, but if he succeeds, Woo-jin will kill himself. Later, as Dae-su and Mi-do grow emotionally they have intimate sex. Dae-su discovers he and Woo-jin briefly attended the same high school and remembers spying on Woo-jin's incestuous relationship with his sister, Soo-ah (Yun Jin-seo) but unaware of the familial ties, inadvertently spread the rumor before transferring to another school in Seoul. Soo-ah's turmoil grew, causing physical signs of pregnancy and eventual suicide. During the investigation, Woo-jin enrages Dae-su by killing Joo-Hwan for insulting Soo-ah while the warden later joins Dae-su's side after having his hand amputated by Woo-jin. The warden looks after Mi-do as Dae-su goes to confront Woo-jin at his penthouse.

At the penthouse Woo-jin gives Dae-su a photo album. As Dae-su flips through, he witnesses his daughter grow older in the pictures, until discovering that Mi-do is actually his daughter. Woo-jin reveals that the events surrounding Dae-su were orchestrated to cause Dae-su and Mi-do to commit incest. A hypnotist was also hired for use on Dae-su and Mi-do to further their actions. The warden then betrays Dae-su with a similar photo album ready for Mi-do. A horrified Dae-su begs Woo-jin to conceal the secret from Mi-do, groveling for forgiveness before slicing out his own tongue as a symbol of his silence. Woo-jin calls the warden and agrees to spare Mi-do, leaving Dae-su alone. As he rides alone in the elevator, he is struck by the vivid memory of his sister's death and shoots himself. Some time later, Dae-su sits in a winter landscape with the same hypnotist and asks her for help in forgetting the secret. Touched by his pleas from a handwritten letter, she begins the process, lulling him into unconsciousness where she asks him to separate his monstrous side. Dae-su then wakes up alone before meeting with Mi-do. They embrace, and Mi-do tells Dae-su that she loves him. In anguish a tearful Dae-su smiles.

Old Boy trailer 2003

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