Lee Chang-dong’s Burning is a revelation in cinematic artistry. Providing us with a mystery thriller based short story by Haruki Murakami. Combined with the style and delivery of the late great Alfred Hitchcock. As we taken on a journey into the complexities of obsession, jealousy and hidden desire. While also embodying modern South Korea and its drive towards a consumerist utopia, where many of its young are left behind in spiralling debt.
Jongsu (Yoo Ah-in) is a recent young graduate, who lives an isolated life, as a low paid delivery diver in Seoul. However, Jongsu’s life changes on a chance encounter with Haemi (Yun Jong-seo). A young woman who brings back vague and distant childhood memories for Jongsu. Memories that become submerged in a mysterious relationship that leads Jongsu down an ever darker corridor of obsession and love.
Burning is both creative and beautiful, wrapping you in its haunting mystery from the outset. With outstanding performances that embody a sense of intrigue and calm in the midst of a spiralling mystery. While Lee Chang Dong takes his time building a sense of foreboding, never rushing to easy solutions, as the web of intrigue and unease increases. Ultimately delivering a film that echoes Hitchcock, while also creating its own unique voice in modern Korean filmmaking.
A truly outstanding and compelling journey into obsession and desire.
Director: Chang-dong Lee