Oldboy (2003) would be a whodunit, only the “who” is revealed before the film’s halfway point. So—it’s more of a whydunit, with a highly unsatisfying “why.” The story concerns a man who is mysteriously imprisoned for fifteen years, and then released. Hunting down his captor, the prisoner rediscovers the youthful guilt that so inspired his captor’s revenge, Neither party can live with the guilt; one commits suicide, and the other undergoes hypnosis. Vengeance is whine.
Cullen Gallagher is a Brooklyn-based writer, musician, and curator whose work has appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Life Sentence, Moving Image Source, Bright Lights Film Journal, Beat to a Pulp, NoirCon, Crimefactory, Film Comment, The L Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, Fandor, Not Coming to a Theater Near You, Hammer to Nail, Spinetingler, Between Lavas, Reverse Shot, and Guitar Review. He records instrumental music as Modern Silent Cinema and plays in the hardcore band Night Squad.