Burning ★★★★½

A marvel, technically and narratively. The dialogue is razor-sharp (at least what I got from the subtitles), the acting natural and authentic, the cinematography stunning and the score superbly minimalistic and fitting. But what is fascinating me the most is the plot and the characters that populate it. There is not even that much happening in here. No big polemic with people shouting at each other. No highly emotional one-take breakdown scene. No big drama. The three central characters, their interactions and their own little demons make the film and make it so fantastic. They are as different as humans could be, socially and characteristically, but wonderfully fleshed out and portrayed.
At some points in the film, some radical changes happen, some things stop making sense. They are all somehow connected and (probably?) have double meanings. Not only does this turn out to be nerve-wracking for the viewer, but also for the main character.
These mystery aspects don't dictate the whole rest of the film though, they are not the center of attention. They drive it forward, especially in the furious second half, but only through the main characters own choices and actions. He is the center. He and his actions, his reactions, his mannerisms, his choices, what makes him this character. Not the mystery. He is just caught in it and tries to make sense of it all, tries to solve it. So does the viewer. The films goal is not to tie all loose ends together. It also doesn't dictate what to get out of it. A classic mystery story or a metaphor for something bigger...all valid. The film did all it had to do, said all it had to say. It got straight to the point, it's all there. The rest is up to me.

john liked these reviews