Akbar Saputra’s review published on Letterboxd:
"To me, the world is an enigma," said the doe-eyed, confused Jong-su to the posh, Gatsby-like Ben in his elegant mansion. This line alone has pretty summed up the entire film: that the world, and the human life on it, is abstract and full of uncertainties. You'll never know who you will meet right after this second, neither you will know who will vanish out of your life tomorrow. What we want, what we expect to feel, and what we aspire to happen transform into our own version of reality, which we insist to blend with other people's versions of reality, just to make ourselves feel sane and okay as days go by.
Having this concept in mind, 135+ minutes duration of "Burning" may feel like a slow and long ride that never ends. But bear with me on this: I think not a single minute, not a single dialogue, is wasted. It all really tells a wide range of factors that ignite human to struggle with themselves: alienation, loneliness, damaged family, social class disparity, fragility, and even toxic masculinity. Sounds like something we see in our everyday life, eh?
Watching this film, you can't help but reflecting with your own life and questioning how far you have been trying to make amend with your own version of reality, as you start to realize that it may not forever be in line with others. It may start like the usual boy-meet-girl romance, but I assure you this ain't your typical Korean drama. Maybe if you're up for some hours of contemplation (or if you're currently having this thick, dark cloud within your head), "Burning" is gonna be a superb companion.