TIFF review: Burning

South Korean director Lee Chang-dong's adaptation of a Haruki Murakami short is hypnotic

BURNING SPEC D: Lee Chang-dong. South Korea. 148 min. Sep 9, 1:30 pm, Ryerson Sep 13, 3 pm, TBLB 3 Sep 16, 3:15 pm, Scotiabank 3. See listing. Rating: NNN

An aspiring writer, a seductive young woman and a Porsche-driving player provide a sexual and social-class subtext to this hypnotic adaptation of a short story by Haruki Murakami.

The three actors bring a vitality and intensity to their roles, making the film a gripping character study. Lee smoothly moves his finely calibrated screenplay from meet-cute love story to unspoken love triangle to surprising mystery to unexpected thriller without dropping a frame as he tells his elusive tale. 

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