Grant’s review published on Letterboxd:
Before watching this, me and a friend discussed how dialogue is overused and how the best films are the ones which add texture to seemingly empty space. It's quite ironic how this then turned out to be a perfect example of just that.
The way Lee Chang-dong uses empty space in his frames and connects them to the main characters was powerful to say the least. The images imply a question exists, but what that question is is never defined exactly. Simply "Why?".
Not only that, but his varied use of focus, switching from focus on a central character to having them blurred out in favour of their surroundings, only further pushed this idea of disconnection and confusion.
To say what this is about is to spoil it and I don't want to do that because this was a really special film. The control displayed by the director here in terms of what the audience knows and what to show them next is masterful. Everything is drip fed to the audience at just the right pace so that what is a 2 and a half hour movie where almost nothing happens becomes something that builds and builds to a fever pitch and then just cuts to the credits.
Yoo Ah-In deserves every award available for his performance as does Jeon Jong-seo. Their expressions of hopeless, destitute searching for something meaningful has only hit me more and more since I saw this.
So far this is the best film of the year.