Vague statement alert: Burning is not a movie that you “get”; it’s a movie you experience.
Based on a short story by Murakami, it’s dark and bleak in a way that comes out more in the atmosphere of the movie rather than what happens in the story.
Working in the capital Seoul, a young guy from a poor town near the North Korean border runs into a girl from his village. As he starts falling for her, she makes an unlikely acquaintance with one of Seoul’s wealthy youth (played by Korean-American actor Steven Yeun, pictured above.)
This new character is mysterious in a way that’s all-too-common in South Korea: young people who have access to money no one knows where it came from, and who are difficult to predict or go against.
Two worlds clash, poor and rich, in a movie that’s really three movies combined into one – a character-study, a romance, and a revenge thriller.