Food on Film: Old boy

17 Jan
…dinner is served.

This South Korean instalment of the Vengeance trilogy – released in 2003 – splits opinion. For many it is gruesome, violent and plain nasty. For others, and me included, it is a triumph.  Park Chan-Wook’s thrilling movie shows a guy, Oh Dae-su, awake in a hotel room where he has been imprisoned for 15 years. He escapes and is angry, hurt and crazy for revenge . The fire in his belly is soothed only by a sushi waitress who he falls for, but still – to quote another movie – it is clear that despite his burgeoning romance, that there will be blood. Despite high critical praise – It cleaned up at Cannes – it has been controversial and was blamed for the Virginia Tech killings. It is striking, powerful and tragic. The key food scene – where Dae-su eats a live octopus – was utterly shocking. Seeing the tentacles twitch as they hang out of his mouth soon to be devoured was intense. Luckily, I didn’t watch it on a full stomach!


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