Paul Leonard’s review published on Letterboxd:
Burning is the latest slow burner from Korean director Lee Chang-Dong. It’s a movie that is as perplexing as it is beautiful.
Jong-Su seemingly lives a quiet and lonely life tending to his dads farm. When he meets Hae-Mi his life changes. She is the complete opposite to him. Confident and outgoing she persuades him to come to her tiny flat where he is seduced and used. She disappears to Africa for a short while and upon her return has in tow with her the rich and charming but mysterious Ben played by Steven Yuen.
What ensues over its long length is ambiguous to say the least. The movie first just appears to be about loneliness and moves along at a slow pace as we discover more and more about each of the characters. But as the movie develops we enter the world of a psychological thriller as we start to question what is real and what is imagined. What is really going on here?
This is where the movie excels. Many things happpen and are spoke about that make you think one thing and before you know it you doubt yourself and think something else. The movie doesn’t answer any of these questions. It just presents its facts for you to decide what has happened.
Between all this we are treated to some beautiful and striking imagery set against dusk and dawn that makes it truly cinematic.
A movie difficult to categorise but one that despite its initial slow pace is always immensely watchable and completely intriguing.
A movie that demands a discussion upon leaving the cinema.