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Burning eight long years have passed since the Korean Lee Chang-dong released ‘Poetry’ (2010), but the wait has been worth it: Burning his new film is an absolutely monumental work. Taking Haruki Murakami’s 13-page short story as a mere starting point, ‘Burning’ – translate as fiery or burning, or simply burning – is meticulously unfurled across two and a half hours of increasingly tense footage, in which each scene and each shot are precisely calibrated to achieve maximum meaning and maximum dramatic effect; and in the process he moves with amazing patience and subtlety from the territory of romantic drama to that of criminal intrigue.

Its main protagonist is Jong-su (Yoo Ah-In), a country boy aspiring writer, unemployed and apparently shocked by the savage consumerism that defines Korean society. At the beginning of the film, the young man is reunited with an old schoolmate, Hae-mi (Jeon Jong-seo); After a date and some sex, she goes on vacation to Africa. She returns accompanied by Ben (Steven Yeun), a compatriot who has a Porsche and a luxury apartment and refined arrogant manners, and who from the beginning wins the girl through displays of wealth and romantic dinners. And meanwhile she makes Jong-su a helpless witness to her courtship, offering her gestures of friendship and generosity wrapped in airs of superiority and also something else, not entirely identifiable but definitely sinister.

Duration: 148 min


IMDb: 7.5