First Reactions: Beoning / Burning

This is rather a teaser trailer than an actual full length trailer, but still is helps to build up the suspense, tension and mood of the film in an effective manner which leaves you eager to know more about this South Korean thriller. The trailer opens with a misty path and it’s hard to work out what we are seeing at first, then slowly a figure appears running towards the camera. Who is this mysterious figure, and are they running from someone or to someone? There’s already so many questions that I find myself asking, and I am already drawn into this world.

We see a single frame shot a young woman, smiling. This is the actress Jong-seo Jeon who is staring in her first role as Shin Hae-mi, in Beoning. Just what is her relation to the running man? Are they lovers? And is she the person he’s running towards. The music is building up, and I feel the suspense growing to almost an unbearable degree. There is another individual introduced, a young man with sunglasses getting out of a car. This is the character Ben, played by Steven Yeun who is perhaps best known for his role in The Walking Dead and last year’s Okja.

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The running man is getting closer towards the camera now. We see a quick shot of Hae-mi going to kiss the young man, but we cut before we see if she does indeed kiss him. Then we see the young man approaching Ben in an empty restaurant, suggesting that there may be a love triangle involved, which may turn deadly when we see a quick shot of a locker full of knifes on the wall and the back of someone reaching towards it.

Several shots follow in a quick succession, with little time for you to fully digest the images that you are seeing: a club scene, a man on top of a grassy bank, a map with crosses on it, a car pulling up to a remote setting in the countryside, flashes of a fire…The final shot is of the young man, coming to a stop and pulling down his hood…this is the character of Lee Jong-soo played by Yoo Ah-in, a well established actor in South Korea.

And then the trailer ends… without really revealing anything about the film’s plot but leaving us intrigued and in the search of answers. There seems to be very little information about the film’s plot on IMDb, but this only adds to the appeal of the film. The trailer has left me eagerly anticipating the film and knowing that the film’s director and writer Chang-dong Lee was an acclaimed writer before becoming involved in filmmaking, fascinates me. I hope that this film will be just as interesting and mysterious as its trailer.

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