Burning

Burning ★★★★½

I have seen Burning twice, and each time I finished the film with completely opposing interpretations of the characters, especially Ben played with sublime contradiction by Steven Yeun. In one viewing, I despised his character and sympathized with the protagonist, Ah-in Yoo's Lee Jong-su, and the next, I saw Ben as benign if conceited and Lee Jong-su as a vile representation of modern masculinity.

Burning is constructed with exquisite care so that it can function as any interpretation or none. Ambiguity is the throughline in this film, and that was what allows Burning to find its place as a reflection of the social and political confusion that our culture is currently experiencing.

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