Michelle’s review published on Letterboxd:
This movie is glacially slow, but so measured and exacting. Every single moment matters, each act building on the next until it culminates in a chilling ending.
I read this as a film about class struggle and the jealousy than can burn inside those who are not privy to the better things in life.
Jong-Su gets a taste of love when it is suddenly ripped away from him. Ben is “better” than him in every way: handsome, charming, and rich. Jong-su is bitter, obsessive, but since he’s the protagonist you kinda feel for him. The movie is fantastic at bait-and-switch, alternating between Jong-Su and Ben as the protagonist and antagonist. I think this is an interesting critique on how the disparity between the rich and the poor can lead to violence. Ben frivolously throws away Jong-Su’s dream girl.
I also really like the pantomime sequence with Hae-mi and the imaginary tangerine because Jong-Su spends the entire movie pantomiming a relationship with her that only exists in his head.
Hae-mi is also an intriguing character as she starts out as a manic pixie dream girl but the movie subverts it by showing how disgusting Jong-Su’s obsession with her is, because quite frankly he doesn’t know a damn thing about her but he acts as if he owns her, like he is entitled to her. Dude is masturbating over her bed when she isn’t there. That’s not healthy. Ending was amazing.