In this harsh life, realities should be perceived in their raw splendor. Perceived and consumed at the same time. Like the writhing tentacles of a live octopus, that feed the goblinesque appetiteof a man, just set free from his ordeal: a 15 year imprisonment between the walls of a dark hotel room.
Oh Dae-su(Choi Min-sik), has become the rawest depiction of his own martyrdom, a damned Apostle in a falsified principle of Truth. The same Truth that he seeks, eludes and runs away from. The truth of Love. Shouldn't Love adorn everyone's halo, in accordance to the bright side of their deeds? Yes... on one condition. That the Spiritus Sancti that sanctifies the roots of Love, bears the wings of Tolerance. That's why Oh Dae-su is a damned Apostle. That's why, we all are. Because we have laid the foundations of our Church(our existence) on a twisted laceration in the deep reality of Love. That is the complete absence of tolerance in the true notion of Love. Why? Because we have based its perception on a consensus, derived by a false morality.
Oh Dae-su lived in seclusion for 15 years, as a lateral casualty in this false morality's malfunction. Yes, he had witnessed an act of incest during his very young age, which he thought he should reveal to the social surrounding. The question that the film raises has nothing to do with the act of incest itself, rather than why this act should be confined inside the walls of this false morality. Why sin would have to be attached to a moral consensus?
No, Oldboy isn't about revenge either, even if it features in Park Chan-wook's Vengeance Trilogy(preceded by Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and followed by Sympathy for Lady Vengeance). Oldboy attempts to show us that our personal as well as our society's doom is reshaped in a twisted notion of Love. All the flaws of our demeanor(anger, hate, remorse, vengefulness) are sprung out from this false morality. Consensus twists the fates of us all. And sin is a by-product of its malfunction. Then, we all go down the same way. No matter if we are a heavy stone or a grain of sand. Should the judgement we bring upon the person standing opposite us, be based on a calculable attribute? The established norms of morality narrow the spectrum of our view at the point we find ourselves confined between the walls of a damned existence. Is it worth it?
I really wonder.
Park Chan-wook's Oldboy is a masterpiece. I give it a well deserved 4 stars out of 5.
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Next week with a new review.