Burning

Burning ★★★★★

A wannabe writer named Jong-su (Ah-in) encounters old friend 'Hae-mi' (Jong-seo). Hae-mi asks Jong-su to care for her cat while she flies away on a trip to Africa, though he never sees the cat. Upon her return, Hae-mi introduces Jong-su to a man she met in Africa named 'Ben' (Yeun). Ben is a privileged yuppie, and soon reveals his strange hobby of ritualistically burning down barns (without any consequences) to Jong-su. 

A sensational, gripping, slow-burn, nightmarish, psychological mystery. This film will require repeat viewings. Based on the novel 'Barn Burning' by Murakami, director Chang-dong fills this film with a dense, bleak, menacing atmosphere. The film itself centres around a twisted love triangle / obsession, and it certainly functions as a solid character study. There is much to dissect, with comments on the power of memory, jealousy, the class divide. 

This is a supremely powerful, subversive piece which will linger in the mind long after viewing. So many interpretations. Superb.

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