An atmospheric drama full of question marks
- Burning review by PJ
This is an interesting -- captivating, even -- film, but it is also a weird movie in more ways than one. I wouldn't describe it as a thriller because it doesn't fit into that genre as such, although there is a mystery at the heart of the plot. The film is quite slow and too long, and yet it is fascinating, because there are so many ways that you can interpret the opaque story.
The central character who lives on his father's farm is, somehow, a bit gormless. But it's possible to identify with him and his sense of bewilderment at what goes on around him. On the other hand, there is something frustrating about the story because some obvious questions that ought to be asked are not touched upon, hence we are not provided with answers (which is deliberate on the part of the director, of course). What I mean is that it is rather implausible that any of those key questions wouldn't have been asked and the person or persons involved wouldn't have been put on the spot as part of that questioning, in any real-life situation approaching that described in the film. (I cannot say any more, to avoid spoiling it.)
Then again, the film is totally unconventional and does not pretend to be realistic as such. It is an atmospheric and oniric sentimental drama inching its way slowly towards some kind of thriller, South Korean style.
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.
Intriguing but unsatisfying
- Burning review by Alphaville
What’s it about? If you can figure that out, well done. It begins as boy-meets-girl, becomes a sort-of love triangle then eventually introduces the element that gives the film its title (but don’t expect any combustible drama). It’s intriguing to begin with and even looks promising, with realistic sex scenes that you rarely see in South Korean cinema. But it doesn’t go anywhere interesting at all. It’s based on the director’s short story, is full of tell-don’t-show and can’t possibly sustain its 140-minute run time. It has been vastly overrated for its opaqueness, causing some critics to say it must be seen twice, but once (if that) will be more than enough for most viewers.
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.