I really regret that I missed this in the theaters. I loved this movie. I want to watch it again right now. The second of Chan-wook Park's revenge trilogy, it is also my favorite of the three.
A man is imprisoned in a small room for 15 years and he has no idea why. He is fed fried dumplings everyday. He has a TV in the room that he watches all of the time because what else is he going to do with his time? He sees a news report on television that his wife has been murdered. He tries to start digging an escape tunnel using chopsticks but then is inexplicably released. Upon release, he is out for vengeance against the people that have stolen 15 years of his life.
Crazy scene after crazy scene follows. This film is not for the faint of heart. But then again, SHR somehow made it through so sometimes great films supersede one's weak stomach. Every moment of the film looks stylish and amazing. The improbable fight scene in the hallway where the main character beats up over a dozen bad guys reminded me of the premise of Bart Decoursy's 20 Midgets. And the scene where a live octopus is eaten puts Nicholas Cage's eating a cockroach in Vampire's Kiss look like the mere child's play that it is.
This movie has everything. Surprise twists, memorable villains, tortured souls, a great soundtrack, everything! If I had seen this movie in 2005 when it was released in the US, it would definitely have been in my top five.
Directed by Chan-wook Park