Last Tuesday, I grabbed the chance to slack
things off and watch several recommended movies. Here’s a review for all three
I came across this title when I was randomly
surfing the net for recommended Asian films. After seeing its review at Rotten
Tomatoes and IMDB, I downloaded a copy in advance in case I find a window time
to watch it. Work and class suspension last Tuesday gave me enough time to
watch this and two other movies.
The plot was simple. Oh Dae-su (Min-sik Choi), a drunkard and a bit of
a troublemaker as portrayed in the earlier scenes of the movie, was suddenly
detained in a dank and decrepit hotel room for 15 years. During those times, he
subsisted on dumplings given by his captors and the company of the room’s
television. From there, he learned that he was framed for murdering his wife
and daughter and that he was on the run. Bent on getting even, Oh Dae-su spent
his time shadow boxing and finding a way to escape his prison. Exactly 15 years
after, he was released by his captor telling him to know who he is and why was
he detained. The rest of the two-hour movie lays out how Oh Dae-su finds his
captor, the reason for his detention and exacting revenge from the people who
were accomplices to the harm done on him.
As said, the plot was simple. The plot
twists, however, we’re totally bonkers, it’s so awesome. I was used to watching
typical Korean romantic movies and dramas but I felt that the lyrical Korean
language used perfectly contrasts and sharpens the grit in Park Chan Wook’s
opus. The movie was both poetic and sad—it makes one think how our simple
stories greatly affect how other people view their lives. One wrong word and it
might spell vengeance from those we did wrong. Creepy.
For all its dark and beautiful
cinematography, I’m giving it a perfect score. But enough warning is given: the
movie shows a generous amount of violence, sex, and gore. If you’re a fan of
Hurt Locker- District 9-like films, this might just be next in your line.
Another recommended movie. The film is set in
the 1940s at Shawshank State Prison. Based on a novella written by Stephen
King, it tells the story of Andy Dufrense (Tim
Robbins), a hotshot banker who was convicted of murdering his wife and his
lover despite his pronouncement of innocence. He was then sent to Shawshank to
serve two life sentences, eventually striking a friendship with another inmate,
Red Redding (Morgan Freeman). During
Dufrense’s stay in prison, he meets the corrupt warden (Bob Gunton), a sadistic prison officer and other inmates who are
willing to hurt and rape their fellow just so they’ll be the dominant group
inside the prison walls. Despite all of these, Dufrense remains hopeful and
even begins doing activities that will spread that hope to his fellow inmates
while also gaining the confidence of the warden and other prison officials.
I’d like to say that the movie ended on a
happy note. I dunno if it’s an appropriate ending, but who am I to judge. I
guess it’s safe to say that it sent the message of hope even in the more tragic
events befalling our lives. No wonder it’s on everyone’s
Here are just some of my favorite exchanges
from the film:
Parole Man: Ellis Boyd Redding, your
files say you've served 40 years of a life sentence. Do you feel you've been
Red: Rehabilitated? Well, now let me
see. You know, I don't have any idea what that means.
Parole Man: Well, it means that you're
ready to rejoin society...
Red: I know what *you* think it means,
sonny. To me it's just a made up word. A politician's word, so young fellas
like yourself can wear a suit and a tie, and have a job. What do you really
want to know? Am I sorry for what I did?
Parole Man: Well, are you?
Red: There's not a day goes by I don't
feel regret. Not because I'm in here, or because you think I should. I look
back on the way I was then: a young, stupid kid who committed that terrible
crime. I want to talk to him. I want to try and talk some sense to him, tell
him the way things are. But I can't. That kid's long gone and this old man is
all that's left. I got to live with that. Rehabilitated? It's just a bullshit
word. So you go on and stamp your form, sonny, and stop wasting my time. Because
to tell you the truth, I don't give a shit.
Andy: Here's where it makes the most
sense. You need it so you don't forget.
Andy: Forget that... there are places in
this world that aren't made out of stone. That there's something inside... that
they can't get to, that they can't touch. That's yours.
Red: What're you talking about?
Andy in a letter to Red: Remember Red,
hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.
There you go. 5 out of 5 too.
The first two movies were a bit tragic and
too taxing, we needed a happy movie before capping off the night. The answer
was this Thai movie and I guess it was the right choice.
Jib (Ice - Preechaya Pongthananikorn) and Sua
(Ter - Chantavit Dhnasevi) are like any other couple except that they work on
the same office that bans fraternization among their employees. They succeed on
keeping it discreet until fixing an ATM error becomes the ultimate litmus test
for their five-year relationship.
The conflict was simple as well as the story.
What made it good were its funny scenes and witty lines—they never failed to
elicit laughter in the middle of the night, from us at least. Hahaha! There’s
not much to tell except that it’s something you can watch if you’re looking for
reason to while the time away.
Labels: 2013, asia, atm error, bangkok, korean movies, movie review, oldboy, thai movies, the shawshank redemption, tuesday, weekends