Oldboy (2003) movie poster

(2001) dir. Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
viewed: 08/13/03

This clever Spanish film has an interesting premise. The characters of this film inhabit a subculture in which luck is traded or absorbed or stolen from individual to individual, and ultimately won and pocketed like some “soul”-like cash. In this sense, it functions as some sort of low-tech noirish science fiction, reckoning somewhat of other subcultural-themed films like Fight Club (1999) or Following (1998). The film is slickly produced and is quite entertaining.

Like many science fiction or films with any fantasy element, premises have to be something that even a relative non-believer can buy into. And while this film focuses on some literalization of the concept of luck, perhaps it still remains nearly philosophical enough to follow without analysis. Though, it must be said, under much scrutiny, the premises might start seeming silly or full of holes. The film doesn’t really leave much room for believingthat “luck” doesn’t exist and that the characters are potentially acting under some superstitious delusion. Even in more conventional concepts of “luck” that one encounters in daily life or conversation are probably considered by the majority of people as simply that, a conceptual construct, one that is imagined rather than real.

But to be honest, it feels a little nit-picky and cruel to critique this aspect of Intacto when in reality, it was a fun and clever film, and quite enjoyable. Let’s just say that if you did want to start picking into it, it might not take too much analysis to pare it down fast.

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