for lack of anything better, the watching of movies occupies a fair chunk of my time. hence, movie reviews, to fill up my blank space.
“Revenge is a dish best eaten cold.”
We’ve seen a few movies on this – Kill Bill probably being the most famous. However, the true revenge series is of a little-known korean director Chan-wook Park. It is a trilogy consisting of Boksuneun naui geot, Oldboy, Chinjeolhan geumjassi.
The concept is to show revenge. In every way. Why do it ? How ? What happens ? Reactions ? How best ?
Admittedly, cold-blooded. I’ve watched 2 out of 3 and they are not for the faint-hearted. Or the moralistic. They do not showcase morals, they can even seem to have no point. But exploring that would mean exploring why a movie is made. These movies are pure experiences that stay with you long after. And keep coming back to haunt you.
Now, I hate giving away details of anything do with the plot for a movie… especially one like Oldboy, where the ride is one that should be experienced to be believed.
The theme is do with revenge. A man is kidnapped, and held prisoner for a period of time. When finally released, he goes on the hunt for the captor. And revenge.
I warn again, not a movie for any of those who watch movies for “the good stuff”. For a discerning movie-goer, who will not judge. Understand the concept of revenge as it is meant to be.
Everything else blends into the overall feel of the movie of delivering a knockout punch to the solar plexus. The music forms a character of its own, the cinematography is subtly graphic enough; giving the realism needed to believe. The acting is brilliant. Most importantly, Park’s direction is stylish, subtle, and amazing enough that you will be left feeling the final blow. And staring numbly at the screen.
And now to ‘Zinda’. A remake. Almost. Watched simply to see how badly they can fuck it up. (BTW, they did)
We will leave aside obvious grouses – scenes have been shot in the same manner.. dialogues are literally translated.. the acting is excellently copied. Well-acted, mind you.. but simply a picture perfect copy. The direction is not really too much work when you copy.. I should think. The music is NOT copied.. and is superb. Only redeeming feature. In some places, the cinematography beats the original.. but the feeling of ‘Have seen it’ doesn’t disappear.
Except for the basic motivation.
It is true the Indian audience couldn’t have taken the original idea of Oldboy. A little too graphic, a little too unacceptable.
But without that, the film felt a little empty to me.. the final punch is lost. Maybe I was spoilt by Oldboy, which does not try to redeem itself in its climax. Leaves life and its taste as is.
Zinda tries to sweeten, and in the process manages to show the best recipes cannot be copied for every cuisine. Oh well.