Volume 74, Number 50 | April 20 - 26 , 2005

Koch On Film

By Ed Koch

“Oldboy” (-)
Every week I comb the movie pages looking for a film that sounds interesting or one in which a quirky actor like Johnny Depp is starring. Recently, I have had little success in finding one.

I decided to see the Korean film “Oldboy” which received several good reviews. Roger Ebert gave it four stars and wrote, “Oldboy is a powerful film not because of what it depicts, but because of the depths of the human heart which it strips bare.” My reviews are accompanied by a plus or minus sign indicating whether or not I think you should see a film. This flick deserves far less than a minus.

When I asked three people at various intervals who were leaving the earlier show what they thought of the movie, they all said it was “disturbing.” Their body language clearly conveyed that they did not enjoy it. I believe they were much too kind. I found it to be disgusting.

The story is unfathomable. I saw the film with HG a former detective who grasped most elements of the story. HS understood far less, and I very little. The script is consumed with rage, retaliation and revenge. It includes two incestuous relationships, kidnapping, false imprisonment for 15 years, and self-mutilation. During one scene, I felt as though I were going to be sick. I covered by face with my jacket to avoid watching what was taking place. The last time I did that I was about 8-years-old when I went to see Boris Karloff in “Frankenstein.” Even then I peaked through my fingers to see a little of the action, but not so in this film.

The critics who gave this film a favorable review should have their heads examined along with everyone connected with this insulting drivel.

(In Korean, with English subtitles.)

- Ed Koch

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