Chinjeolhan geumjassi [Sympathy for Lady Vengeance] (2005)

Chinjeolhan geumjassi
Director: Chan-wook Park
Writer: Seo-Gyeong Jeong, Chan-wook Park
Part of: The Vengeance Trilogy
Cast: Yeong-ae Lee, Min-sik Choi, Shi-hoo Kim, Yea-young Kwon, Ji-tae Yu, Kang-ho Song, Hye-jeong Kang, Byeong-ok Kim

Plot:
Geum-ja Lee (Yeong-ae Lee) was just released from prison after more than a decade where she did time for kidnapping and killing a young boy. In prison she was known for her beauty and kindness, but as soon as she is out, Geum-ja starts ruthlessly working on her plan for revenge on the person who really was responsible for the murder, with the help of former inmates. At the same time, she tries to reconnect with her daughter (Yea-young Kwon) who was adopted by an Australian couple.

At the start of the movie, I thought that I would end up not liking it, that it would be a surprisingly weak ending to the unofficial trilogy. But the further it went, the absurder its sense of humor got, the more I enjoyed it. By the end, I was loving it just as much as the other two films.

sympathyforladyvengeance

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Re-Watch: Oldeuboi [Oldboy] (2003)

Oldeuboi
Director: Chan-wook Park
Writer: Jo-yun Hwang, Chun-hyeong Lim, Joon-hyung Lim, Chan-wook Park
Based on: Nobuaki Minegishi and Garon Tsuchiya‘s comic
Part of: The Vengeance Trilogy
Cast: Min-sik Choi, Ji-tae Yu, Hye-jeong Kang, Dae-han Ji, Dal-su Oh, Byeong-ok Kim

Plot:
Dae-su (Min-sik Choi) is a drunk who is thoroughly screwing up his and his daughter’s life when he’s kidnapped. After 15 years of imprisonment for reasons unknown to him, he’s released. Still having no clue what happened, he slowly tries to figure things out, find his daughter again and take revenge on whomever imprisoned him.

I remember watching Oldboy for the first time. I was alone at the movies (at the time that was still a rare thing for me) and I practically ripped the armrest out cause of all the tension. When I left, I never wanted to see the film again. But it didn’t let go of me, so I decided to give it another go. And it’s still amazingly good, even if I am a little more jaded.

oldboy

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Boksuneun naui geot [Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance] (2002)

Boksuneun naui geot
Director: Chan-wook Park
Writer: Mu-yeong Lee, Chan-wook Park, Jae-sun Lee, Jong-yong Lee
Based on: Nobuaki Minegishi
Part of: The Vengeance Trilogy
Cast: Kang-ho Song, Ha-kyun Shin, Doona Bae, Ji-Eun Lim, Bo-bae Han

Plot:
Ryu (Ha-kyun Shin) doesn’t have it easy: his sister (Ji-Eun Lim) is slowly dying of kidney failure, while he slaves away in a factory, trying to raise the money for a transplant. He tried to donate his own kidney, but unfortunately has the wrong blood type. That he’s deaf doesn’t help with things either. Then he stumbles on a possibility to sell his kidney, in exchange for one of the right blood type. Quite illegally of course. But everything goes wrong and Ryu is left with a kidney less, no money and he’s fired from his job – when the official transplant comes through. So he and his girlfriend (Doona Bae) hatch a plan to kidnap the factory owner Park’s (Kang-ho Song) kid (Bo-bae Han). And things only go downhill from there.

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance is beautifully shot, well told and utterly bleak. It grips you and doesn’t let you go until the very end. Amazing.

sympathyformrvengeance

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