Chan Wook Park’s Oldboy is as grippingly thrilling and torturing to watch at times. To describe the plot as “A guy gets locked in a room for fifteen years and doesn’t even know why?” right away makes you want to watch this movie. The agonizing idea of being locked up in a room with only a crappy TV, a journal and your thoughts to keep you company is brutalising enough. With no chance to escape the only way to freedom seems to be suicide. But even suicide is out the question because you would only be saved by your captors and be locked in the room once again.
The constant suspense that keeps you on the edge your seat is fuelled by the psychological agony of the protagonist. Chan-wook Park creates an atmosphere of the unknown and with the protagonist Dae-su Oh (Min-sik Choi) we embark on a journey of discovering something we could never of guessed or comprehend.
Whenever I think about Oldboy I always remember what Dae-su Oh’s question “If they had told me it was going to be fifteen years, would it have been easier to endure?” The same question always goes through my mind but even after ten years I still cannot answer it. To be locked up and imprisoned for fifteen years is a heavy price to pay. But to be caged in a room for fifteen years without even knowing why is honestly indescribable. It is a question of “Why?” that would drive me insane not the prison itself. This is what makes Oldboy such a compelling film to watch. In the film we see the mystery of Dae-su Oh's imprisonment unfold, the intensely dark visceral acts of revenge he embarks on and in the end we are left with a devastating experience.