I know the title is a little wierd but there was really no other way for me to describe these two movies that really made us go shocked like that. In my double movie features I try to write about any two movies or TV series or books, that had one quality that was strikingly similiar between them. Sometimes it’s a character, it could be the plot theme, it could be anything. But this time, it’s just two movies whose endings really might make you fall off your chair, in shock, and prove to be excellent entertainers we won’t forget that easily!
The first is a Malayalam movie from India called ‘Dhrishyam’ and the second is a South Korean movie, called ‘Old boy’.
Country of origin: India
Directed by: Jeethu Joseph
Written by: Jeethu Joseph
Starring: Mohanlal, Meena, Ansiba Hassan, Esther Anil, Asha Sharath, Siddique, Kalabhavan Shajon
Released: 19 December 2013
Duration: 164 minutes
The principal characters in this film, are the four members of the family. Georgekutty is an orphan and lives with his family, running a TV cable business. He loves watching films and spends his time watching it carefully. Although he is not a man, who was educated much, he still knows a lot of things which he saw and learnt through films or ‘Dhrishyam’ which means ‘visual’.
However while on a nature based field trip, Varun using his mobile phone, takes video clips of Anju in the girls wash rooms. He then travels to her hometown and blackmails her with the video clips. On the same night, there is a scuffle between Anju, Varun and Anju’s mother and Varun is accidently killed. Scared, they bury Varun’s body in the compost pit, and tell Georgekutty everything that happened. Georgekutty then erases all the clues, like Varun’s car and phone and they start creating a foolproof ‘alibi’.
However Varun’s parents grow restless as days go by with no news from him. His father is a businessman and his mother a senior level police officer. Having had a child very late, they had spoilt Varun with everything. Led by his mother whose fierce and literally won’t stop at anything, they go behind the mystery of Varun’s disappearance. As the movie progressed we see how Georgekutty and his family are focused on and the story then follows how Georgekutty does everything and anything he can to make sure his family doesn’t go to jail.
Sounds simple enough right? If you’re wondering what is in this movie to make us go shocked, we I would have to spoil the ending and I won’t do that. The best part about this film is that, despite Georgekutty not having any sort of formal education , he was smart and used his brains. Throughout the movie we can see the references and knowledge he gained from watching films which were used in an apt manner throughout the film.
This movie was highly succesful, and the main reason is first of the strong and concrete plot,and it’s characters. Starting from the leads, to even the child actors they did so well. Even the villian especially Kalabhavan Shajon who acted as the police constable who has a grudge against Georgekutty and uses the investigation to finish his anger all out on him, was one of the best performers in this film, hands down.
Asha Sarath was the strong mother-bear who would do anything to find what happened to her child. Ultimately it was to find her child is safe, but the story that then unfolded really brings in new layers to her character as well. She led it more than the character that played her husband.
This was a movie that was made with that reality in the balance, enough to make it believable, to be entertaining, and to be enjoyed. And the ending ment is something that really cements this movie into the mind of the viewer in an unforgettable manner. This film was re-made into many more languages but when going for reviews, I always like to go with the original works itself.
Country of origin: South Korea
Directed by: Park Chan Wook
Screenplay: Hwang Jo Yoon, Lim Joon Hyeong, Park Chan Wook
Based on: ‘Oldboy’ by Garon Tsuchiya and Nobuaki Minegishi
Starring: Choi Min Sik, Yoo Ji Tae, Kang Hye Jung
Released: 21 November 2003
Duration: 120 minutes
In the year 1988, Oh Dae Su, causes a science drunk and is arrested. He misses his daughter’s fourth birthday for which he had bought her a present. Once his friend comes and bails him out,they both walk home. Dae Su then goes into a phone booth to talk to his daughter. Then his friend enters the booth to talk to her.
When he gets out of the booth he sees that Oh Dae Su is missing. He has been kidnapped by a man underneath an umbrella. He doesn’t know the reason and he’s locked up in a room with an imaginary window. He is fed fried dumplings and multivitamin pills and sometimes he is gassed and made unconscious. Over time he tries killing himself numerous times, but he is saved. Eventually, 15 years pass in this prison. Dae Su maintains a diary on every person he thinks could have done this to him.
One day, he is gassed and made unconscious, and when he opens his eyes he finds he is outside now. He has new clothes, a wallet full of money and a cellphone. His captor instructs him to find out why he was captured and kept for 15 years in a fixed number of days. He finds a girl, Mi Do, who works in a Japanese restaurant to help him. The rest of the movie then shows us Dae Su’s adventurous and shocking truth to the mission given by his captor.
I initially started watching this movie because after reading the premise even I wanted to know the truth on why he was kept captive for this many years. The truth however did send waves of shock because I never imagined the story writers imagination to go like that. And the way they showed it was really good too. Our brain slowly clicks the puzzle pieces into place and we go ‘Whoa.’
Choi Min Sik showcased a spectacular performance. It’s not easy acting as a man who had been captive and away from everything that’s human. It was not insanity but just someone who he became along the way. That affected how he carried his investigation forward and how he interacted with people after that. I could write an essay on each of the scenes and his mannerisms in it. The character description was amazing and the actor did justice to it.
Just as much, and sometimes more than Choi Min Sik, the villian or the anti-hero or I really don’t know how to categorize Yoo Ji Tae’s character because I wouldn’t really lab him completely as a villian, but something else. His acting really blasted through the roof,especially and I know many will agree with me,the ending scenes in the lift. He was just as psychotic as Oh Dae Su but maybe on an entirely different level.
I loved this film,because it really took us through an imaginative roller coaster ride through the creative minds that thought of such a story. Although remakes have been made in English as well,I as usual, decided to stick with the original, because hey there’s nothing better than that. I heard the English version had a slightly different storyline and ending, so I decided to stick with the original.
If you have watched either one of these movies let me know in the comments what you feel about them!
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