Hayden’s review published on Letterboxd:
Burning is a really perplexing film in the best way possible.
This might be one of the best directing efforts of the decade, Lee Chang-Dong so expertly has an eye for every scene. It never is in a distracting or audacious way surprisingly, it's just this natural comfort in his element that I really do appreciate. Every scene felt like there was some meticulous thought into what went into scoping it. There was just something so masterfully put together, but in some weird sense there was something slightly off putting about it. I can't quite put my finger on it, but there was just this weird feeling associated with my watch. It's important to note that I watched this with multiple pauses while I was having to get different chores down (switching back in between).
The performances here a definitely something important to point out, clear standout is Steven Yeun. I'm not sure how to explain it but Yeun is on a completely different planet than any one else performance wise. There is something so unique that only he is able to put together here that elevates the film to be something different. To the point that makes me question why he hasn't risen into top acclaim of one of projects for highly talented actors. Ah-in Yoo is interesting, he's definitely tasked to convey a lot of different emotions. Being tasked with the primary lens of who the story is told from is where I think a lot of my confusion lied, I'm not sure if I completely get on board with his character (but I'm leaning to him being a really well developed character). Jong-seo Jun is pretty solid in her acting debut, and gives a unique but charming performance. There's definitely a clear moment where everything clicks between the main ensemble, and from that point I think the film really ramps up.
This is the first incomplete grade that I've given out in awhile, and that does not fall on the film but how I feel about this. To share thoughts this could fall anywhere from a 5 to 9 out of 10 for me, honestly on a re-eval there's a slight possibility of it being a 10. One that leans to the high side of loving this is this film has haunted me after watching it, there's different elements that just stick in my head, and my appreciation just keeps growing the more it sits.