Beoning / Burning
Lee Chang-dong – South Korea
IN A NUTSHELL
Based on the short story Barn Burning written by Haruki Murakami, this story follow Jong-Soo (Yoo Ah-In) who ends up meeting his childhood friend Hae-Mi (Jeon Song-Seo). Hae Mi asks him to look after her cat while she’s on a trip to Africa, when Hae-mi comes back, she introduces Ben, (Steven Yeun) a mysterious guy she met in Africa, to Jong-soo. One day; Ben visits Jong-soo’s with Hae-mi and confesses his own secret hobby, and there is a mystery which connects the three of them together. (by Bianca Garner)
“This film has the characteristics of a murder mystery, and yet nothing is certain. A key memory from Haemi’s childhood is called into doubt, and the legacy of Jongsu’s own violent childhood becomes a factor.” – – – – – Barbara Schurrer, RogerEbert.com
“Intelligence and subtle storytelling smarts are in evidence throughout Burning, which gratifyingly pays off the viewer’s investment of time. The performances of the three principals are first-rate, although it cannot be denied that Jun is sorely missed during the lengthy stretches when she’s not onscreen.”- – – – – Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter
“Like Jongsu, we crave to understand why things happen the way they do, and Lee denies us this satisfaction. Consider the cat again for a moment: When Jongsu later calls a runaway by the name Haemi gave her own “invisible” cat, Lee invites us to assume that they are one and the same animal. But can we ever be sure?” – – – – – Peter Debruge, Variety
Burning smashed out of the gates with incredible reviews, one of the best reviewed films to come out of Cannes in years in fact. A mystery story that twists the nerves and the senses, even at well over two hours, the film has been touted as the festival’s champion – an upset if it does not win any of the big prizes.
Director Lee Chang-dong, of Secret Sunshine and Poetry, previously well acclaimed pictures, may have hit the jackpot here. The contest has really hotted up considering it was apparently not a great selection this year. At least the Jury Prize then, or else Lee takes Director.