As much as I love a well made Hollywood movie, I find myself drawn into foreign films as well. There seems to be something very heart warming when I read the dialogues.
There is always so much depth in the characters story that makes it feel closer to home in a sense. Everyone should give them a chance before considering another blockbuster film.
Korean movies are mainly what i have seen most of with the odd spanish and french here and there that are equally great.
I have collected some of my favourite movies that sit proudly on my shelf. This is one of them by Park Chan Wook, whos work consists of crime thriller that is filled with blood curdling revenge but leaves plenty of room for your sympathy.
The vengeance Trilogy consists of three movies ; Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance ( 2002), Oldboy ( 2003), and Lady Vengeance (2005) directed by Park Chan-Wook that all deal with revenge.
The movies display a strong symbolic theme of deprevation from each character, the feeling of losing something so valuable that it makes you lose your humanity. The movies have their own stories but i love all three films so it made more sense to have the box set.
As far as sympathies go, Ryu is a deaf-mute man who works in a factory. His dying sister is need of a kidney transplant with no match. With barely enough money for her operation from a lucky donor, Ryu and his girlfriend (who is in a strange anarchist gang) make a plan to kidnap the daughter of the guy who fired him from his job. They justify their actions by saying “the bad image kidnappers get is because of kids getting killed but we’re different”.
Within few hours, mayhem kicks in when the kidnap turns into a hot mess, resulting in the two men at war for their daughters demise.
There are some rough scenes of what i can only describe as a handful of blood, as Parks movies tend to display which add to the depth of the characters brilliant acting, and clearly we see their raw emotions on screen.
With some gory moments, it is also that presice feeling of being cheated on life, filled with so much anger that you are fixated on killing from what was rightfully taken from you.
Your mentality can only stretch so far into madness when Dae-Su is seen to be imprisoned in a tacky hotel room for fifteen years for reasons later revealed. With occasional food and a tv, he learns of his wife’s murder and that he is her apparent murderer.
When he is finally released in a small suitcase, awakened in a suit on a rooftop, Dae-Su soon puts his fighting skills to good use (with his odd choice of a hammer) on some attackers that get in his way whilst trying to locate his daughter.
A memorable scene of a drunken like man putting up a clumsy but well executed death that feels realistic and would only come so naturally after being tortured for so long.
With revenge of hunger on his mind “i want to eat something alive” you clearly realise he is not just after some live octopus to hug his face. (Think of eating some spicy food you enjoy but gives you heartburn yet here you are still eating it). In a bizzare way that’s the impression I got from his facial expression.
With some gruelling moments of madness and greatly shot fighting movements, this is a visually beautiful movie that shows deprivation of a man who has lost so much of his life. This will have you bite your tongue at the very end.
Nothing could prepare lady Geum- ja for what she had in store for her victim; a murderer of a five year old boy. Coming out of prison for a murder she did not commit she has a mind full of anger and grief from parting from her little girl and everything she has been through but had put up a facade of being reformed in her ‘good nature’ to this crime.
There is a great shot at the start of her release, where tofu is brought to her as a cultural welcome which she throws to the ground “why don’t you go screw yourself” and walks away, which marks the start of her anger brewing towards those who showed her a cruel fate.
With her blood red eyeshadow “because I don’t want to look kind hearted” and a disheartened mind, Geum-ja goes in search for her daughter and to find the real murderer- a high school teacher by the name of Mr. Baek. She soon realises alot has changed since her time in prison and is horrified at learning there is more evil to this man who she trusted to help her, who used her and stole from her and threw her away, which fuel more of her hatred for him.
It is not just a story about revenge but a mother, a woman in her own rights who has been stripped from her freedom and cannot bear to find sympathy in her actions. After all revenge is best served cold.