Ryan’s review published on Letterboxd:
Gorgeous film that is a real slow "burn" (pun intended). The essential NEET thriller.
I was really surprised to find out this is based on a short story written by Haruki Murakami since I have been starting to read his books and really enjoy his style. But I can't help but see all these "best film of the year, a true masterpiece" style reviews and wonder if there's a tiny bit too much of that "film reviewer pretentiousness" that you see pop up every now and then. Not that I think this movie is bad, not at all. I guess it's the immediate response that has me confused. The film is a cipher. I think I see some of the elements that the film is working with in terms of deeper meaning and themes (specifically things involving the Korean economy and young peoples education/jobs) and I kind of feel like I have the necessary pieces in my mind to appreciate the film, but I just don't think you can see this once and immediately see it as being a masterpiece unless you're the kind of person that thinks "beautiful + confusing + foreign = masterpiece." This is coming from someone who loves foreign cinema and confusing films.
I guess my main point is that it feels like there's a lot to sit on after you finish watching it, and unless you've seen it a couple times and really given it some thought, I don't know if it can be considered a masterpiece. Why am I even focusing on other peoples opinions? I don't know. Expectations can be a hell of a thing I guess. I recommend watching this and giving it some real thought.