Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Lady Vengeance

The third of Park's revenge trilogy and the most disturbing. The first Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance was really bizarre. The second, Oldboy, was an amazing thriller. This one has its strange moments and its thrilling moments but at its core, it is really thought provoking and hard to watch. Unlike Oldboy that showed most of its violence onscreen, this one keeps a lot of it offscreen. But it is all the more disturbing because of it.

The movie is about a woman who is locked up for 13 years for kidnapping and murdering a young boy. The only problem? She didn't do it. The real murderer had kidnapped her baby daughter and blackmailed her into a confession. The film is about her time in prison and her quest for vengeance upon release.

I don't want to give too much away to people who haven't seen this but I will say that the video footage of young children pleading for their lives is obviously not for the squeamish. How far will a person go for revenge is the key question in all three of these films. This is the only one of three that tries to answer the question without resorting to cartoon violence and assorted fun hijinks. Viewed as the third of his trilogy, this film hits all the perfect notes. If this had been first, the other two might seem callous in comparison. Instead, he saves the more serious one for the finale and what a finale it is.

Directed by Chan-wook Park
2005, Year of US Release: 2006


youthlarge said...

i can't stop thinking about this movie. maybe it's because when i was little i'd always hear this crazy story about these little kids who went to the river to hunt for frogs or something like that. they never seen again and it became one of south korea's most notorious kidnappings/disappearances. i hope i'm not making this up or remembering it completely wrong.

youthlarge said...

i guess it happened later than i thought: http://www.asianresearch.org/articles/1015.html