Brandon Winchester’s review published on Letterboxd:
Movie #2285: Burning
No one told me Trump was in this shit.
This is one of the most fascinating films I've seen in the last few years.
Not only is it because of the film's cryptic, slow marinating plot, that provides more questions than direct answers, or the fact that each character's backstory is clouded in mystery and intrigue, but it is also the relevance to modern society. This represents a global cinema, a cinema influenced by both the east and the west, a film focused on telling the story it wants to tell. Burning really just works. The ambiguous nature of the film's ending and plot create room to ponder the metaphysical implications as well as the direct ones. The acting from Yoo-Ah-in, Steven Yeun and Jun Jang-seo is all so good with their deliveries being full of more than just the words coming out of their mouths. The subtext is always palpable. The lack of score benefits the film in this way, giving the film an uneasy tone while also letting the acting and visuals do the talking. The visuals are brilliant with a great grasp on not only color, but framing as well. There's a divisional aspect that comes across a lot in the film. The cold feeling the visuals and dialogue evokes contrasts the title and the plot so well. Because even though one is cold, the other is flaming hot. It's great juxtaposition. This film shocked me in more than a few ways.
Burning really just has one issue. It takes awhile, nearly an hour to get to the main plot. They may have set up their characters greatly in the first part, but it didn't really go anywhere till the hour mark. This is only a minor issue, as the back half carries the first. It just drags a little bit up front that's all.
I'm jumping on the hype train for this one. Burning is magnificent and needs to be seen. I am starting to believe more and more that it was snubbed for Best Foreign Feature at the Oscars; I liked it more than Roma and Shoplifters. The ambiguous tone and plot are truly what makes Burning great. It is metaphorical, captivating and unique. What a great film! 4.5/5