Burning ★★★★★

A slow-burn, yes, but incredibly well paced for a 2-1/2 hour movie. Burning is simply a masterpiece. The three leads, especially Steven Yuen, their performances are nuanced and subtle. Yuen exudes a dark, unstable energy despite appearing beguiling and put together throughout his scenes. The central mystery is enthralling and frustrating. It's not one that spoon feeds you, it will require you to think. Chang-dong gives you all the clues, but you have to solve it for yourself. The cinematography is breath-taking. How some of these shots were achieved, especially those after sunset while dimly lit are still so bright without artificial light, is just proof of a master at work.

The film asks the question that so many have before: what is the meaning of life? Do those without a sense of purpose, who rely on others to give them one, become just pieces to be used by others who know their place in life? There's so much to unwrap here.

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