Monday, December 19, 2005

[BNAT] Sympathy For Lady Vengeance

Chan Wook Park has made three movies now that deal with revenge of some sort. They're not your basic "you done me wrong and I'm gonna get you" movies. They're very complex and painful and brilliant. The first was Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance, which I caught for the first time this year. The next was Oldboy, which played at BNAT 5 and was a huge favorite. Now he's capped off his trilogy with Sympathy For Lady Vengeance, and I think this is the best one of all.

The story centers on a woman who, when she was 19, was imprisoned for kidnapping and murdering a five-year-old boy. She did kidnap the boy, but the murder was done by someone else. During her time in prison, she makes lots of allies, and this helps her exact her revenge when she gets out. The manner in which she gets her revenge is profound and disturbing and immensely satisfying. And her relationship with her own daughter - especially a scene where she gives the young girl some important advice - is quite touching.

This film hurts. It's an incredible portrait of revenge gained and redemption sought. Absolutely wonderful.

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