likexritual’s review published on Letterboxd:
Burning is a atmospheric slow crawl but also extremely suspenseful in the way it chooses carefully to leave almost every single question for the viewer unanswered. there is almost little to no pay off and at surface level seems to be an extremely ambiguous film. what I would refer to as “the Korean Momento” because it reminded me of that film so much from the year 2000, we follow awkward lead role in a bizarre love affair and her sudden disappearance and his awkward interactions with the person who believes is responsible for it.
after really trying to analyze this film and dig deeper into what it’s about, to me it seems obvious that this story is a metaphor for the conflict and political issues of North and South Korea. our lead role (Yoo Ah-In) is a commoner and son of a farmer meanwhile the introduction of the protagonist (Steven Yeun) is an affluent and sharp dressed but very deceitful and almost sociopathic character. this strange love triangle surrounded by Shin Hai-Mi (Jung-Seo Jun) digs deeper into abandonment and it’s closely mirrors ties to its borders and the very obvious difffence between the two separate portions of Korea.
that is of course, my own analyzation.
one of the reasons I enjoyed this film so much was the fact that during its more then two hour run time it had me constantly going over details in my mind, trying put the pieces together and find a deeper meaning in its plot. its charm though is that it can be taken for face value, or dove deeper inside of and and I think that this directors ultimate goal. (Chang Dong-Lee).
Burning from a cinematic standpoint showcases some very beautiful cinematography and all of the natural lightning and glow is matched perfectly with the mystery of this film. the atmosphere and weather seemed to change when dramatic scenes of the film play out and the score helps tie all of that together.