Monday 10 May 2021

Burning [Beoning] 2018

Do you ever watch a well-reviewed and broadly-awarded film and think to yourself that you could have written a more interesting story - and probably shot it in a better way?!

Jong-su bumps into a girl who used to live in the same neighbourhood, who asks him to look after her cat while she's on a trip to Africa. When back, she introduces Ben, a mysterious guy she met there, who confesses his secret hobby.

Director Chang-dong Lee bring us this very strange Korean film which I really miss the point with, sadly. I'm really OK with arthouse - and there has been some great far-east examples of that - I lived a decade of my life in the cinema consuming the European variety! But this is just off-the-wall odd.

I'm sure I'm missing so many points being made here and if you read other people's reviews in IMDb for example, it's clear that people are seeing all sorts of deep meanings - but for me, it's just a boring mess pretentiously attempting to emulate the artform with slow pointless setups and scenes over nearly two and a half hours!

Ah-in Yoo playing the lead is lethargic and unresponsive - so much so I wonder if he's in a coma half the time, Steven Yeun (Okja, I Origins, Minari) seems to be the only more-famous actor on show for his smaller part here as the fruit-loop and virtual unknown Jong-seo Jun plays the wayward loner girl looking for something to cling onto - in more ways than one.

Maybe you'll do better than I did trying to get something out of this film if you could be bothered, but I wouldn't bank on it. Sometimes it meandered towards glimpses of excellent camerawork and photography with the landscape, but most of the time not!

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