20 years of Old Boy: Park Chan-wook would have liked to change this scene

20 years of Old Boy: Park Chan-wook would have liked to change this scene

The Korean filmmaker remains proud of his film, even if he regrets a detail.

At the end of the 1980s, Oh Dae-Soo, an uneventful family man, was kidnapped one day outside his home. Sequestered for several years in a private cell, his only link with the outside is a television. Through this television, he learns of the murder of his wife, murder of which he is the main suspect. The despair of being kidnapped for no apparent reason then gives way in the hero to a vengeful inner rage that allows him to survive. He was released 15 years later, still without explanation. Oh Dae-Soo is then contacted by the one who seems to be responsible for his misfortunes, who offers to find out who kidnapped him and why. The nightmare continues for the hero.

Released in November 2003 in South Korea, before making a splash at the Cannes Film Festival the following year, old boy is about to come out in 4K version in the United States. On this occasion, its director Park Chan-wooktalks about the creation of his violent thriller worn by Choi Min-sik and Kang Hye-jeong withIndiewire. And reveals that if he had been able to modify an element of his film, he would have changed a detail that still bothers him today…

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“Initially, when we designed Woo-jin’s penthouse, I had this idea of ​​building a very long swimming pool with a single line, he says. When it swims in it and it reflects in the glass, it looks like a white fish caught in a thin wave against the dark night. I wanted to create this surreal image, but couldn’t because of the budget. If I had known at the time that the film would be so successful, I would have invested more money to make the swimming pool that I wanted.”

For the rest, Park Chan-wook says he is proud of his thriller 20 years later, even if he recognizes that he cannot see it as a simple spectator. Since its theatrical release, he has only attended three screenings of his film, and he admits that he was only able to fully enjoy one of them.

“The first time I saw it, in Cannes, I was surrounded by a real audience, and I was worried about the reaction of the spectators, he details. So I wasn’t so focused on my film. The third time I saw it was to prepare for its remastering, so I had to stop on technical issues. This time too, I couldn’t enjoy the film. In fact, the only time I got to see him normally was ten years ago, for his 10th birthday. We had organized a screening with the actors and all the heads of the technical team. I must say that I was surprised by Woo-jin’s character. He was much more interesting than I remembered. The actor who plays him, Yoo Ji-tae, delivered an incredible performance.”

Difficult to mention old boy not to mention its ending, which shocked the audience. Beware of spoilers!

“When the original manga (by Nobuaki Minegishi, editor’s note) was offered to me to adapt it by my producer, I did not like the end, recognizes Park Chan-wook. There was no story of incest, the villain’s motivation was completely different I ended up signing anyway, but looking back, it was a risky decision on my part because at the time I had no idea how I was going to wrap it up my film. I’m glad I found this good idea, this change, because if we hadn’t done it, we would have had a big problem. It’s a decision that I probably wouldn’t have made today …I was so young then!”

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