So I just finished watching the South Korean film called Burning…
Burning tells the story of Lee and Hae-Mi, a pair of childhood friends who reconnect and start dating. After a trip to Africa, Hae Mi befriends a new man by the name of Ben, and the many elements in Lee’s life start to slowly crash down on him as Ben becomes more involved in their lives.
A very dense and enveloping drama. What a film.
Great script, great characters and performances (Steven Yeun of The Walking Dead fame was excellent as Ben, and Yoo Ah In was great as Lee), good cinematography and editing, amazing score, very interesting voicing of its ideas, etc.
This film is not technically marvellous or anything, as the shot composition and editing didn’t do much for me outside of a few nicely lit shots and sequences. However, this film is a writing master class. This script is so strong on its fundamentals, and it is so layered with very rich character development and social commentary.
The main characters, Lee and Ben, have this incredibly fascinating dynamic where each of them can be seen as the bad guy in the situation (one’s a creepy fedora tier bitch boy, and the other might be a serial killer. Who knows. Watch the movie and make up your own god damn mind.) It raises questions, but not because it was poorly written, but because its ambiguities encourage discussion and thought about what the movie is trying to say.
Overall, this is a fantastic film. If it were a bit more visually stimulating, I would be in love, but this is a very intelligent and well crafted film and one of the best of 2018. Highly recommended.
9.5 out of 10 (Maybe a 10 upon rewatching it due to the writing strengths, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves)