Burning

Burning ★★★★½

This is either a movie you just let wash over you or you write an entire essay on. It’s very slow thriller in the vein of an art house Hitchcock. 

It’s also very literary in that it’s filled with motifs and subtle socioeconomic commentary. It even features references to The Great Gatsby and William Faulkner. That’s probably the only flaw of the film is that it feels maybe too literary. It’s something no one can truly unpack in one viewing. 

But it’s also so enthralling. Not a lot happens but the directing is so perfect. The tone and the performances are so perfectly controlled that it creates a trance like effect. There’s one scene in particular that is so beautiful but I’m still trying to interpet it. 

But what made this film click in my mind was when I put together the dual motifs of working class life and disappearances. This is a film about the old working class lifestyle disappearing and a new upper class wealthy lifestyle taking over Korea. It puts into focus the mistrust those in the bottom of the economy have of those at the top. This is a film that is slow and quiet but you don’t realize till the end how much rage has been under the surface the whole time.