Burning (Beoning)See our picks. A woman is hired as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress, but secretly she is involved in a plot to defraud her. In a small Korean province intwo detectives struggle with the case of multiple young women being found raped and murdered by an unknown culprit. A disgraced ex-policeman who runs a small ring of prostitutes finds himself in a race against time when one of his women goes missing. A mother desperately searches for the killer who framed her son for a girl's horrific murder. A sixty-something woman, faced with the discovery of a heinous family crime and in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, finds strength and purpose when she enrolls in a poetry class. A woman moves to the town where her dead husband was born. As she tries to fit in, another tragic event overturns her life. Soon after a stranger arrives in a little village, a mysterious sickness starts spreading. A policeman, drawn into the incident, is forced to solve the mystery in order to save his daughter. A monster emerges from Seoul's Han River and begins attacking people. One victim's loving family does what it can to rescue her from its clutches. An irresponsible and childish ex-con befriends a girl with cerebral palsy and develops a progressively stronger bond with her. Jong-su bumps into a girl who used to live in the same neighborhood, who asks him to look after her cat while she's on a trip to Africa. When back, she introduces Ben, a mysterious guy she met there, who confesses his secret hobby. Then it burns. Daily he can be seen either in Seoul or tending the family farm in the town of Paj. Director Chang-dong Lee slowly sets up the subtle class conflict with two other characters, the three of whom create a romantic triangle that provides the heat Lee incorporates into a central fire motif. His influence by Faulkner's Barn Burning is alluded to in the film as both works emphasize the uncertainty of finding peace in a world that attacks his family while the family contributes to the lack of peace. Meeting a childhood friend, attractive and aggressive Haemi Jong-seo Jeon after 16 years turns Jongsu more sociable but still introverted. The real mystery is what she wants in a relationship because her new friend, slick and manipulative upper-middle-class Ben Steven Yeunis interested in her as well "He's the Great Gatsby," Yongsu says. It is confusing for introvert Jongsu to deal with his lust for her and to figure out Ben's complex motives. Jongsu also envies the Ben's carefree wealth. The three hander takes off when the three are jousting. Director Chang-dong Lee keeps the slim plot going frame by frame until we have some idea many frames later that this film may turn out to be a thriller. Jongsu is in an existential state of uncertainty, where he receives stimuli but gives little in return except to the cow and Haemi's cat, Boil, which doesn't materialize any time soon. The trial of his farmer dad in court provides insight into Jongsu's troubled family life and the contrast to that of the rich, suave, carefree Ben. Additionally, an unreality motif prevails where Haemi may be telling the truth or making it up, such as with the cat or her childhood trauma. At least in the first part of the story before we begin to see reality biting its way into inexperienced Jongsu's life. The importance of this Korean jewel of a mystery lies not in the plot but rather the psychological miasma of youthful fears and exploration, where life is a mystery because he is experiencing it now, as if he were creating his own identity minute by minute, and as if there was no history but family ties and the inchoate desires of a young man. Burning is an exemplary international film that should receive an Oscar nod. Sign In. Keep track of everything you watch; tell your friends. Full Cast and Crew. Release Dates. Official Sites.
Rentals include 30 days to start watching this video and 48 hours to finish once started. Learn more about Amazon Prime. Close Menu. Burning 7. When Haemi disappears, Jongsu becomes suspicious of Ben and his mysterious hobby. More purchase options. By ordering or viewing, you agree to our Terms. There's a problem loading this menu right now. Get free delivery with Amazon Prime. Customers who watched this item also watched. Customer reviews. How does Amazon calculate star ratings? The model takes into account factors including the age of a rating, whether the ratings are from verified purchasers, and factors that establish reviewer trustworthiness. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Format: Prime Video Verified Purchase. It brings together a story from Faulkner and one from Murakami. Great film. Most efforts to realize literature through film fail. But this is superb. One of the nice qualities of Murakami's writing is that you can read for long stretches because of the 'rhythm' of ordinary events. This film somehow achieves the same effect: at 2. The story is powerful and a bit mysterious. This will probably be in the Criterion collection in a few years. I stopped the film after a minute, seeing that there are no subtitles. I would like to be reimbursed, unless you can offer an English-subtitled version! Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase. Incredible films. But Burning, for me, takes the crown as the very best in a very great year. It succeeds in what it set out to do just a little more than the others. It takes a tiny short story by Haruki Murakami, and fleshes it out to make a strong statement about wealth, class, and male rage in South Korean society. What a mesmerizing masterpiece. Stephen Yeun has broken through into the elites of American film actors. And he did it by playing a convincing Korean-born playboy. Enticing mystery-drama from South Korea. Format: DVD. As the movie opens, he accidentally runs into Hae-mi, who he used to know back in the day when growing up in Paju not far from the DMZ. They immediately hit it off. Hae-mi tells him that she is about to go on vacation to Africa, and would he mind taking care of her cat.
Back at the Vancouver International Film Festival inI was on a jury that gave this South Korean auteur top prize for his first film, Green Fisha funny, unsettling crime picture that was like an X-ray of Korean culture. In fact, Lee had far more of it than I realized. Over the last 20 years, nobody has made more good movies than he has. Lee never does the same thing twice, and in his latest movie, Burning the best thing at Cannes this yearhe has created a hauntingly ambiguous metaphysical thriller about isolation, soul-warping social divisions, and the darker corners of the male psyche. One day, he bumps into Hae-mi Jeon Jong-seoa delightfully vague young woman who claims to have known him when they were kids. Reading more into this erotic encounter than she does you know menhe agrees to look after her cat while she takes a trip to Africa. So far, so good. But when Hae-mi returns, Jong-su is shocked to discover that, along the way, she acquired a boyfriend, Ben, played by the terrific Korean-American actor Steven Yeun best known for The Walking Dead. Rich, handsome, and internationalized, the Gatsby-esque Ben quickly gets under his skin. Although amiable, Ben exudes a yawning air of superiority that is at best annoying— you want to smack him—and at worst feels a bit, um, sociopathic. The conflict between these young men leaves us wondering what will happen to Hae-mi, an elusively alluring figure caught between the smug Ben, who may be using her, and the bottled-up Ben, who may care about her more than she wants. We sense something bad could happen. But exactly what? Now, Burning is something of a forgive me slow burn—it takes two and a half hours to reach its devastating climax. Not one for flashy style, Lee likes to let scenes play out so that his actors have time to slowly suggest the essence of their characters. Here, he wins three performances that, in a fairer world, would all be up for big awards. Indeed, in a marvelous screen debut, she gives a radiant turn, blooming so brightly—especially in a stoned twilight dance to Miles Davis—that she often outshines her male costars. This, I think, is deliberate. Filled with free-floating spirit, she becomes the occasion for Jong-su and Ben to reveal a masculinity that is as toxic as she is life-affirming. Vogue Daily The best new culture, style, and beauty stories from Vogue, delivered to you daily. This article contains spoilers for the plot of the film Burning. The second faces ongoing economic turmoil. Billions of dollars constitute the average household debtmillions of citizens have gone to the streets to overthrow a president cozy with conglomerate interests, and hundreds of thousands of young people remain jobless. Burning brings to focus the clash between these two countries through the life of a working-class man named Jong-su played by Yoo Ah-in. Jong-su is a silent, masculine type whose life is a sum of losses. His hometown of Paju is one of many small-town regions in South Korea facing overwhelming change amid urbanization. His mother abandoned the family when Jong-su was a child, returning only to request money from her unemployed son. His father faces trial for assaulting a local government official, leaving Jong-su with the neglected family house and a diminished cattle farm. Even when Jong-su wins the affection of his childhood acquaintance Hae-mi Jeon Jong-seohe quickly loses this fledgling romance to a wealthy urbanite named Ben Steven Yeun. Throughout the film, Jong-su scuttles between Paju—a mere checkpoint away from the demilitarized zone—and Seoul, hoping to salvage his relationship with Hae-mi and monitor the ever mysterious Ben. With its striking juxtapositions between the rural and urban, embodied by Jong-su and Ben, Burning rejects the glamorization of Asian wealth and the notion of a universal Asian identity, as recently depicted onscreen in Crazy Rich Asians. Instead, Lee concentrates his film on the extreme class inequality in South Korea, underscoring the economic desperation that destroys families, ravages homes, and consumes dispossessed individuals. When the beloved vanishes without a trace, the protagonist suspects the new boyfriend is to blame. He can afford to detach from material and emotional concerns; Jong-su, meanwhile, cannot. When he extends his hand for a casual American handshake and Jong-su bows, as per Korean custom, this moment further marks Ben as a flaneur who comfortably maintains distance from society. His dissociative coldness maps onto his immaculate Gangnam apartment. Ben offers no words of condolences. Instead, he casually boasts about being a serial arsonist. This disparity is reflected in other scenes, too: We see Ben smoking marijuana a highly banned substance in South Korea and speeding in his Porsche. Yet it is Jong-su who is stared down by two Seoul policemen for simply loitering in his pickup truck. But if Jong-su at first appears as the dutiful, law-abiding son in contrast to the previous man of the house, everything changes after his final moments with Hae-mi. When Hae-mi disconnects her phone and then vanishes without a trace, Jong-su suspects Ben is to blame yet lacks enough evidence. The tragedy of Burning is that luxuries of imagination are reserved, first and foremost, for wealthy men. At the start of the movie, Hae-mi explains to Jong-su, over soju and beer at a pojangmachathat she has been taking pantomime classes. Though Hae-mi is a captivating storyteller and tenacious pantomime, Ben and his snooty friends scorn her earnest attempts at living out her creative dreams.