Burning ★★★★

This slow-burner mystery thriller film did not disappoint. It was unsettling yet engrossing and sensitive. The chemistry between the lead actors is undeniable. I loved how Yoo Ah In portrayed this quiet, conflicted, middle-class young man named Jong-su. Jong-su's monotonous and struggling life was interrupted by his old classmate, Jong Jeon-soo's Haemi, who was hopeful in finding her great purpose in Africa. Her trip led her to the enigmatic and mysterious, Steven Yeun's Ben. After their return in South Korea, this is where the power struggle happens and I've appreciated how the film subtly explained the actions of each character. It sheds a light on the harsh reality — social inequality and toxic masculinity. It presented how our economic background largely affects our behaviour — we become indifferent and hopeless. Moreover, it agonizingly showed how women are still viewed as sexual objects in the society. She was undermined by the desires and demands of the two male leads who failed to see her for who she actually is. Separately, the cinematography is majestic. I like the use of wide shots and the chiaroscuro technique to illustrate each character's emotions, combined with an impressive musical score to make us grasping until the end. Sadly, there was no hero in this film.

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