Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005)

Original title: Chinjeolhan Geumjassi

Director: Chan-Wook Park

Writers: Chan-Wook Park, Seo-Gyeong Jeong

Composer: Seung-Hyun Choi

Starring: Yeong-ae Lee, Min-Sik Choi, Shi-Hoo Kim, Yea-Young Kwon, Tony Barry, Anne Cordiner, Su-Hee Go

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Lee Geum-Ja, have mercy on us...

Plot: After a thirteen-year imprisonment for the kidnap and murder of a six-year-old boy, Guem-Ja Lee seeks vengeance on the man truly responsible for the boy's death. With the help of fellow inmates and reunited with her daughter, she gets closer and closer to her goal.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again?  Probably not.

This is from the same cat who brought us OLDBOY (2003) and this picture has the same sensibility in that it only starts to make sense once you know what the fuck happened in the first place.  But that doesn't happen until the final half hour which is also when shit gets real and it gets real good.  That first hour can be a bit of a slog to get through.  Park jumps around with time and that threw me off a couple of times.  I watched this with friends and between the three of us, we were able to keep track of what was going on as far as the timeline was concerned.  This is a film that gives you a good second viewing (I would think) but I'll probably never know because if I should watch it again, I'll have forgotten everything about it anyway.  My memory will certainly fail me if I wait more than a few months to re-visit this (and that's way too soon to watch it again).  Don't let the slow burn fool you.  It's a well-made film and it's got a similar uneasy feeling like in the early OLDBOY.  It's effective but not as OMFG as the reveal in OLDBOY.  The Tartan DVD sports a great looking anamorphic widescreen print with a lot of extras including THREE commentaries (among other things like trailers, featurettes and interviews).

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