Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (Korean, 2005)

3/1/11

Part 3 of The Vengeance Trilogy.

OK, I'm going to make a big statement here. Seoul, South Korea could be the new Hollywood. I'm serious! I mean, I've seen so many great movies coming our of this smaller, vibrant country that it can't be a mistake....be it "Memories of Murder," "A Tale of Two Sisters," "The Brotherhood of War," "The Chaser," Mother," "Thirst," etc...Let alone the amazing "The Vengeance Trilogy" that i want to talk about right now.

The last film in the trilogy, (preceded by "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance" and "Oldboy") "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance" by Chan-wook Park is comparitively lighter in terms of action and violence. But its core theme of personal turmoil is much more dark, and its humor is definitely much blacker than the two previous installments.

Revenge from a female point of view is such a refreshing conclusion to the Vengeance Trilogy. It's one of the few movies that will make you shed tears not out of sorrow but out of love. I especially love the flashback elements of the movie, wonderfully used to narrate and navigate its witty yet complicated story.

Absurdly haunting, graphic and (at times) humorous, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance is a must see if you're a fan of Chan-wook Park films, let alone the exceptional chapter to close "The Vengenace Trilogy."

Synopsis

Lee Geum-ja (Lee Young Ae) is sent to jail after admitting the kidnap and murder of a school boy, only as the actual killer, Mr. Baek (Choi Min-sik) has plotted and threatened to kill her baby daughter if she refused.

While serving her term in prison, she carefully plans for her ultimate revenge by winning the hearts of her fellow convicts with her kindness, which earns her the nickname "Kind-Hearted Geum-Ja." After thirteen Β½ years in jail, she is finally released and still very "thirsty" to get her just revenge from the man who framed her.

Lee lands a job at a local bakeshop, and dramatically changes her appearance. While continuing to plan her revenge and murder of Mr. Baek and with the help of fellow ex-convicts, she is finally reunited with her daughter.

Through her own detective work, Lee discovers that Mr. Baek is a child serial killer. Lee, along with a detective who is sympathetic to her plight, contacts the families and relatives of the slain victims...then, together, in a remote building, they conspire an elaborate retribution and take the law into their own hands.