Burning

Burning ★★★★

This is sort of an anomaly of a film that will require some further unpacking. I will say I was left almost disappointed with the overall ambiguity but also so morbidly intrigued simultaneously. The first half seemed to lumber somewhat but we’re let in to Jong-su’s life in such a tender way that sparks immediate interest. We see how much he’s in his own mind exemplified by an extremely non flattering sex scene where Jong-su seems to be fixated only on the light refracting and waning from the Seoul tower into Hae-mi’s chilly apartment. 

About two-thirds in things start to snap into a sort of razor sharp focus embodied by a Marukami infused scene where Hae-mi swirls around as the sun goes down as if a metaphor for freedom, longing, pain. The camera slowly panning to the distant plains of North Korea(the unknown/the mistery/something to fear). Like peeling an onion there’s layers that continue to manifest. The greenhouses seeming to take shape as a metaphor for those closest to Jong-su who he seems so closed off to or estranged from against his will. A symbol of destroying things from the past. A perhaps paranoid or dreadfully real assessment of Ben as a killer who has taken the lives of people in an intimate radius. 

As the film lurches forward with gaining momentum there’s a Burning desire to put the pieces of the puzzle together; how is everything connected.(i.e. the well). A particular striking moment occurs when stalking Ben, Jong-su is separated only by his lavish Porsche(a symbol of his mysterious wealth/status that might need to be destroyed instead of probed any further). In the end we are left in a carefully constructed world not quite realized and ready to face while also imbued with an unshakable urge to know the whole truth at whatever cost.

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