Movie #46 2020: Burning (2018)

Now that’s what you call… a slow burn. Heh.

In all seriousness, I’d been reading such positive reviews for months about this one. Critics on my favourite podcasts were labelling it one of the most impressive movies of the decade. You’d actually be hard pushed to find a bad review for it.

So why was I disappointed?

Maybe the extreme praise that has been aimed at Burning set my expectations far too high. It wasn’t bad, in any sense of the word. I just wasn’t expecting for it to be so minimalistic.

What was good about it? Well, each and every performance in this movie was perfectly nuanced, and extremely enthralling. The shots captured when the main female protagonist was dancing outside were absolutely beautiful to look at, with a gorgeous, lilac backdrop that is hard to describe with words.

But man, this was too deep for me.

It was such a slow and difficult – not to mention long – watch, that the pay-off the viewer is rewarded with in the end is nothing more than a flash in the pan. It’s five minutes of finale, when there needed to be more action in the final sequences for me to be truly interested.

From an art-house perspective, I can see why people enjoy this movie. Unfortunately, the rest of the Asian cinema I’ve been privy to recently has been so engrossing and action-packed that this actually just felt like more of a let-down than anything.

It’s meaningful, yes. But I left this movie not really knowing what that meaning was.

TQR Category Ratings:

Costume & Set Design: 
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