Alexander Welling’s review published on Letterboxd:
”Sometimes you can’t see things that are right in front of you.”
Burning is a 2018 South Korean psychological thriller mystery drama film co-written, produced, and directed by Lee Chang-dong. Based on the short story "Barn Burning" from The Elephant Vanishes by author Haruki Murakami, it stars Yoo Ah-in, Steven Yeun, and Jeon Jong-seo. The plot depicts a young deliveryman, Jong-su (Yoo), who runs into his childhood friend, Hae-mi (Jeon). They soon meet an enigmatic young man named Ben (Yeun), who Jong-su becomes suspicious of and begins to believe Hae-mi is in danger.
Well guys I'm back after a long needed break after a serious burn out (oh boy will I never do what I decided to do in December ever again). I am returning by catching up on the film club movies I need to catch up on, starting with this weeks entry from Jack. Go give him a follow, he writes very well thought out and calculated reviews.
Burning I felt had a lot of those things that had me loving Parasite, although Parasite still being the far superior film in my opinion. It has a dramatic change of pace in storytelling, has a mesmerizing depiction of class, and a hot and hunky Steven Yeun to boot.
What I loved about this film is the the direction and storytelling. I like how the film never gives that satisfying information you need to come to make your mind up. Instead, the film is calculating what to give the audience for foreshadowing and lack of information. Chang-dong gives you enough information to instead come to your own conclusions leaving you on the edge of your seat. This evidently leads to very abrupt ending which some may find very shocking and unsatisfying. To me, I love how they cap of on Jong-su's foreshadowed father and his rage issues. Is the ending a hereditary condition picked up from his father? Perhaps.
Overall, this slow burner delivers a new form of suspense on conclusion that I actually quite enjoyed (once I researched an ending explained video). Please do check this out and enjoy the hell out of it like I did. Great choice!