Lokesh G’s review published on Letterboxd:
Lee Jong‑su never sees anything,life is too mysterious to him.Lee Chang-dong shows this mystery, the mystery of class divide in korea where the lavish people like Ben (which is a very deliberate western name btw) who have no job and all they do is play games and laugh at the dreams of poor and almost broke people like Shin Hae‑mi and Lee Jong‑su (burning greenhouses, easy metaphor to catch i guess) ..
Quite fascinating how Lee uses the mystery of Hae-mi's disappearance to tell a layered story of the actual mystery of financial struggles,unemployment and the class divide in South Korea.Ben is the dude everyone wants to be, he behaves like a westerner,seems very patient and caring and above all he is super rich but beneath all that colorful presence there's a horror and certain consequences that knowing or unknowingly people don't see/realize.You see them only when life feels mysterious to you like it did to Jong-su..
So much of politics in the film..That dance alone has so much of politics,there's a South Korean flag flying,u hear North Korean Propaganda through speakers,u see Hae-mi burnt house surrounded by livestock, surrounded by all these she dances with her clothes off as if to feel something real,to make the moment all about her,to fuck with how others judge her (we learn that she did some plastic surgery bc Lee told her she was ugly)..But just moments after that dance Lee calls her whore for dancing naked in front of men which causes closeness towards Ben and eventually her murder.
When Lee finally finds out that Ben is a serial killer he kills him,the rage gets better of him but the irony is this is the reason why he hates his father and he's literally comes off as a newborn with his clothes off and we are left with a big question of what this guy is gonna do in the society that already is so cruel to him but on top of that he's completely transformed man now.Whats even more interesting is Ben laughs and never really tries to defend himself when Lee stabs him because this move of his is not what he expected from Lee in this game but that's what society and politics can do to a broken man.Quite an intriguing slow burner and I could have easily rated this 100 but I def need an another watch to fully grasp the themes and to read the ambiguity of the film.