Burning (2018) is a masterful thriller that slowly burns in intensity until it reaches a fiery climax that will leave you breathless. Based on the short story by Haruki Murakami, the film explores themes of love, obsession, class division, and existential angst.
The story revolves around three main characters: Jong-su, a young man who dreams of being a writer; Hae-mi, a free-spirited girl from Jong-su's hometown who he reconnects with; and Ben, an enigmatic and wealthy man whom Hae-mi meets while traveling. As the trio becomes more entangled in each other's lives, strange events begin to occur, leading Jong-su to suspect that Ben may be involved in Hae-mi's disappearance.
The acting in Burning is superb, with each actor perfectly embodying their respective characters. Yoo Ah-in portrays Jong-su with a quiet intensity, while Jeon Jong-seo shines as the elusive and mysterious Hae-mi. And Steven Yeun is simply mesmerizing as the charming yet unsettling Ben, stealing every scene he's in.
Director Lee Chang-dong's direction is flawless, with every shot and scene feeling deliberate and meaningful. The slow-burning pace of the film may test the patience of some viewers, but the tension and suspense gradually build to a heart-stopping conclusion that will stay with you long after the credits roll.
The film's cinematography is also a standout, with stunning landscapes and cityscapes capturing the beauty and loneliness of modern-day South Korea. And the haunting score by Mowg adds to the film's eerie and unsettling atmosphere.
Overall, Burning is a film that demands your attention and rewards your patience. It's a haunting and mesmerizing journey that will leave you with more questions than answers, but that's part of its brilliance.