Burning

Burning ★★★★½

95

Vague Spoilers

A completely absorbing, elusive thriller mystery that still feels almost unanswered by the end, and I don't mean that in a bad way. It's almost up to the audience to decide what answer they want because even though it may seem clear there's still a possibility that certain things were coincidence or seen incorrectly due to paranoia and suspicion, nothing is as it seems or is it entirely what it seems? That's the fascinating question. Ben's still a creepy weirdo no matter the answer.

Male jealousy and suspicion run rampant but the suspicion is mostly there not just because of the missing person but because of Ben, a mysterious figure who also occasionally says provocative things that only increase the questions surrounding what exactly he does and who he really is. The main character I found to be rather sympathetic and relatable in his introverted nature, a writer who seems to end up in a fascinating story himself, a mystery that he may in fact be coming up with himself or maybe he's actually involved in one? And then there's Hae-Mi who is a rather tragic character all things considered, someone who seems lonely and searching for some sort of meaning just like the rest of us. Her past also seems to only exist to her, memories that no one else seems to remember, memories seem to play a big part in this as a whole as well. All three characters are fascinating and are what make this such an intriguing film. On top of that it's gorgeously shot, easily one of the most visually striking and interesting looking films of the entire year, and it has a really effective repetitious (in a good way) score that manages to increase the already palpable tension. Looking forward to a second viewing as certain things may become more clear and the deeper metaphors/symbolism may also become even more revealing. Its showcase of class and youth unemployment in particular did strike me, so I'm looking forward to delving more into all its workings again.

Can't stop thinking about it.

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