As you all probably know, I like some really boring movies. I love some slow, long-ass movies, let me tell ya. So when I say that Burning was too long and too boring for ME, I imagine that should land!
I might have still been able to handle the slowly, s l o w l y delivered plot if I hadn’t found the three characters I had to spend all this time with each so aggravating. Jeon Jong-seo conceptually, Yoo Ah-in intrinsically, and Steven Yeun sexually. Good god Steven Yeun is handsome. 2018 was the year Steven Yeun was out to get your girl, and sorry he’s gonna! He’s such a fucking DISH. Even in this where he’s eerie as hell! Steven Yeun can always get it, and that’s what we have learned from Burning.
But no I cannot recommend this movie. Which is a shame because theoretically I like a slow-burn Korean neo-noir where one of the features is that you can distantly hear the disembodied propaganda loudspeakers at the border just a few miles north. I like someone jogging along frost-covered fields. I like the odd, cool-to-the-touch score (“bloodless” Emily Yoshida called it). I like the hazy blue poster, capturing the mesmerizing way Jeon Jong-seo has of moving her arms, alive and feeling all the way through her fingertips.
This could be a soufflé movie, where it’s gonna collapse if you break the gradually building atmosphere in any way, and admittedly I paused it for almost 24 hours when I got invited to a cook-out. But…I paused it gratefully. I wanted to like Burning, but I found this a dull, interminable drag, with a stupefyingly unlikable & uninteresting lead, and a wildly sexist trope of a Manic Pixie Dream Girl character I thought men were supposed to have been shamed out of writing years ago. Not even watching creepbabe Steven Yeun pristinely putting in his contacts could save this one for me, I’m so sorry!