Home  /  Movies: Now Showing  /  Burning
Based on 6 reviews
0 FAVOURITE(S)
JUMP TO SECTION
Details  •  Reviews  •  Videos
Showtimes  •  Movie Stills
Everything Else  •  Related Links

Burning
燃烧烈爱

Format(s) Available
DIGITAL
Opening Date
05 Jul 2018
Rating
M18 Sexual Scene
Runtime
148 mins
Language
Korean - subtitles to be advised
Genre
Mystery, Thriller
Director
Lee Chang-dong
Cast
Yoo Ah-in, Steven Yeun, Jun Jong-seo, Kim Soo-kyung
Synopsis

Deliveryman Jongsu is out on a job when he runs into Haemi, a girl who once lived in his neighborhood. She asks if he'd mind looking after her cat while she's away on a trip to Africa. On her return she introduces to Jongsu an enigmatic young man named Ben, who she met during her trip. And one day Ben tells Jongsu about his most unusual hobby...

Reviews
By Jason Lin  05 Jul 2018
Akin to Hae-mi’s analogy of Little Hunger and Great Hunger, Lee’s films might not appeal to the mainstream audience who are looking for entertainment values (Little Hunger) as Burning seeks to unravel the greater meaning behind life (Great Hunger).
read more

After an eight-year hiatus by prolific South Korean auteur Lee Chang Dong, his latest film presents a familiar theme of frustration that pays off in full-blown rage at the very last of its 148-minute running time. Burning, an adapted film based on Haruki Murakami’s short story Barn Burning, contested at this year’s Cannes with great response.
 
By changing barns into greenhouses that are more commonly found in Lee’s country, it is always welcoming to see filmmakers telling stories that are close to their hearts. It gets even closer when the lead character Jong-su (Yoo Ah-in) studies literature and is a writer – an uncanny reflection of Lee’s personal background. Through Jong-su, a personality that appears to be nonchalant and docile, the screenplay (co-scripted by Oh Jung-mi and Lee) reveals fascination, loneliness, jealousy, and frustration.
 
The story’s symbol of fascination comes when Jong-su meets a childhood friend from his village Hae-mi (newcomer Jeon Jong-seo). As an under-privileged citizen without a job while going through a family crisis, Hae-mi is a bright icon of positivity and idealism that is far from Jong-su’s grasp. Serving as a backdrop to the main narrative, the audience sees Jong-su’s father (a working-class farmer) going through a judiciary trial for assault against a politician. This may well be a tell-tale sign of social vicious cycle.
 
The story’s symbol of mystery gets formally introduced when Hae-mi meets a new male friend Ben (Steven Yuen) during a trip to Africa. Jong-su soon refers to Ben as the ‘Great Gatsby’ – one of the wealthy millennials who do things for a living that nobody knows about.
 
Jealousy comes when fascination meets mystery. The complex relationship between the three characters might appear to be passive on the surface, but it is boiling deep under. Jong-su’s fascination with Hae-mi induces silent jealousy while at the same time becoming frustrated that Ben, an acquaintance of similar age, can enjoy obscene wealth and a life of luxury so casually.
 
If it is not already complicated when Ben begins to speak to Jong-su about his quaint habits of crime - burn down old and deserted greenhouses just to make himself feel good psychologically. It becomes difficult for Jong-su as someone being raised as an honest working-class in a village just across the border from North Korea, to handle such atrocities by the upper class.
 
Along with his already poor state of loneliness (as seen in his willingness to pick up pranks calls in the middle of the night), the built-up frustration (over the span of 148 minutes) becomes a wild fire that cannot be controlled. A fire, which should not have been started no matter what, is portrayed by Lee as a subjective release of pent-up emotions in an oppressive society.
 
Akin to Hae-mi’s analogy of Little Hunger and Great Hunger, Lee’s films might not appeal to the mainstream audience who are looking for entertainment values (Little Hunger) as Burning seeks to unravel the greater meaning behind life (Great Hunger).
read less
Trailers / Videos
Official Trailer
Showtimes

Get Showtimes

Ads
Ads