OLD BOY | Screen | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper


Somebody has imprisoned Oh Dae-su (Choi Min-sik), a middle-aged family man prone to boozy outbursts, for unknown reasons for 15 years. Just as mysteriously, Oh Dae-Su is released, given a cell phone and cash by a stranger, and prompted to determine who locked him up and why. A comely sushi chef offers to help, but the situation indicates that the solution lies within Oh Dae-su's careless past. Park Chan-wook's off-kilter drama offers an intriguing set-up, and his thriller, punctuated by extremely graphic violence, moves at a well-timed clip -- fast enough to stay edgy, but not so speedy that we don't also feel mired in Oh Dae-Su's mind-busting situation: He's already half-mad from his isolation, and is consumed with revenge upon a captor who wants to be discovered. The denouement isn't quite as satisfying as the hunt, but it is shocking enough -- psychically and physically -- that you numbly accept its logic. In Korean, with subtitles. Squirrell Hill (AH)