Burning

Burning ★★★★½

Even when Korean films try to be drama, they always find a way to make me feel so off-putting. I watched this as a challenge, and since I've been looking forward to this film for a long time, I might as well give this a watch. The acting is great with Yoo Ah-in giving a great performance as the main lead that's struggling in trying to make a story out of a court case. He comes across his childhood friend Shin Hae-mi (Jeon Jong-seo) who went on a trip to Africa, and for her first performance, she gave a fantastic debut. She has such range to her character that is quite unpredictable to figure out her full character until maybe later on, but even then you can still arguments over what kind of character she's supposed to be.

The one aspect I was looking forward to the most was Steven Yuen because I wasn't sure about how he'll do in Korean, and that I've only seen him in Walking Dead and I Origins. When he started to speak Korean, it took me off guard because I never heard him speak in a Korean role. Once I got used to it, he's amazing as this character that just came out of nowhere when Hae-mi brought him from Africa, and there's a sense of mystery to him that is the type of character that Lee Jong-su (Yoo Ah-in) wants to be when he first saw him.

The conversations are engaging to listen to that makes me feel very unease because it felt too natural to watch. I always felt like there was something off-putting when watching the three of them together after the first act between Jong-su and Hae-mi, and there wasn't a moment where I felt relieved. The story had so much to bring in this mystery that even when you got to the end, it goes to show that we may not get the closure that we need with any clear answers.

The only issue I had with the film is that there was a scene with a certain character in it that a nude scene. The character was dancing while being nude, and that's fine and all, but it went on for so long that it felt somewhat unnecessary and male gazy to me that would've been best if it was trimmed down a bit. Not trying to make a pun here, but Burning is such an effective slow-burn of a mystery that put me in such a mood, especially with the ending that gives you an understanding of what you get for the whole film.

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