Burning ★★★★½

"To me, the world is an enigma."

What a fantastic film. Man, does it have it where it counts.

I jumped into Burning completely blind, not knowing anything about the story. Partly because of that, about one hour into this, I started wondering what the point of everything I had seen up until then was. It definitely felt like it was going somewhere but the initial slow going threw me. Then, all of sudden, everything clicked into place. I felt a rush of excitement come over me and my eyes were glued to the screen from then on.

The few factors that keep this from being a masterpiece, in my book, are its needlessly long running time (it's around half an hour too long) and the few moments where it diverts from its main story. That said, if it seems tedious to you, stick with it, you'll be glad you did.

The three lead performances are outstanding. Yoo Ah-in is terrific as Jong-su, our perpetually slack-jawed protagonist, Jun Jong-seo shines as Jong-Su's childhood friend, and Steven Yeun delivers what is probably his strongest work to date.

This is a very very good film that stands out to me as one of 2018's best. In order to appreciate it fully, trust me, dive in without reading anything about it if you can. You won't regret it.

2019 Watchlist Ranked
2018 Ranked

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