Well I realized when I posted today about First Reformed that I didn’t write about Burning, which I had seen at TIFF Lightbox on December 5th. I was caught up in writing about Intouchables (older film) than writing about what I saw in the theatre. Maybe that says a little something about Burning and how it may not have impacted me very much. I think, to the contrary, that I had written, or began writing, and thinking about Burning for so long long that I had thought I had already posted the review. Alas, I had not. So without further background, here is the review.
I had heard good things from Cannes and other film festivals about Burning. I went to see this, and I also have Shoplifters on my list to see which Won the Palme D’Or at Cannes this past year. Burning is the story of a young South Korean man who by happenstance meets up with a female childhood friend of his. He is smitten and looks to spend more time with her. She heads off and out of town and when she returns she is accompanied by another young South Korean, only this guy has more outward signs of visible wealth. He drives a Porsche. He has a fabulous house. He throws fancy parties and cooks fancy meals. The young protagonist feels a little suspect about this guy, as he keeps on showing up. Things happen and tension grows from there. Our young man has returned to the countryside to work on a family farm, such as it is. There his suspicions grow and he tries to piece together a puzzle that has been put before him, but for which he never would have wanted. The supporting actor who plays the rich acquaintance of his female friend does an excellent job of portraying his character. There is Teflon protective glass it seems around him and his struts around like royalty around various servants (not so unlike the Queen in The Favourite). See how he talks about what his plans are for a location not far from where our protagonist lives. How he seems infallible and unstoppable. Overall, there are some genuine scenes of suspense as the viewer wonders how all of this will unfold. I note that this film was reviewed positively in the blog from December 18. I would agree that this film was worth seeing and I was glad that I saw it.