Oldboy - Movie & MangaBy: Olliander posted at Nov 16, 2008 2:40 am
Movies & Manga
Okay so my first article on my new account here and… it’s not even about games?! Blasphemy, oh well. Lately, due to the ongoing development of mmo’s I wish to play, I’ve kick started my oh so cool habit of manga reading to pass the time. I was sitting around, luking on the interweb, trying to figure out what would be worth a read when it hit me! "Oh Dae-su!" One of my favorite movies happened to be based on a manga.
*note: Oh Dae-Su is the main character in the movie Oldboy
Ong Bak or Oldboy or 올드보이, you know, whatever you prefer. The movie itself was filmed in South Korea by director Park Chan-wook (nationally acclaimed for his vengeance trilogy) in 2003. Oldboy is a twisting story of revenge that has a psychological thriller aspect wrapped up with apathy and some violence on top.
Below are a couple images of Oldboy in movie/manga form.
The story revolves around a man who is kidnapped and thrown into a prison for 10 years (15 in the movie). He has no idea why, and he isn't given any information. One day after his time was up, he was removed from holding and implanted back into society. He's given a set of clothes and a minimal amount of money (and a cell in the movie), from there he sets out for revenge on those who did this to him.
Anyways the first distinct trait of the manga was the art. It takes a bit of adjusting to. The artist (Minegishi Nobuaki) of this 9 volume series has a mix of western/eastern influences in his style which creates unique imagery. This is most notable in the way he draws his characters but I digress. After reading a few chapters it's really difficult to notice.
One of my favorite parts of the movie was its plot which twisted quite a bit and managed to keep me interested until the very end. I can't say that the manga effectively does the same, but I already knew what I was diving into before I even started. The plot develops much slower in the manga which does help give a more dramatic immersive feel to the story but at a cost of the readers attention span. It's just too slow at times.
The movie had the benefit of time restraints so the story and the plot were snappy and differed from the original manga but... that just might be a good thing. Though I found myself flipping pages to see what would happen next throughout most volumes, by the time I reached the end I kind of wish I would have stopped halfway just so I wouldn't know how it ended. It's just... underwhelming, that's how it felt to me.
The movie follows the theme of the manga but in the end it's almost a completely different story. Both the movie and the manga are worth checking out though, and both have won multiple awards ('cause that's really relevant). In the end I prefer the movie to the manga in this scenario. The book isn't always better, just usually.
The Bottom Line
Ongbak (movie) 9/10
- Fast Paced
- Intelligent Plot
- Quality Visuals
- Holds Interest
Oldboy (manga) 8/10
- Strong Story
- Better Overall Development
- Underwhelming Ending
In The News
Within the past few months there has been muted discussion about Steven Spielberg reworking Oldboy on a Hollywood budget. Will Smith would star as Oh Dae-su (the main character) or is at least being considered as they talk about it. This recreation would most likely follow the path of Chan-wook's film rather than the manga.
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