October 16, 2006

Lady Vengeance

Chinjeolhan Geumjassi, which for some reason seems to have two English web sites (1, 2), is the final installment in director Chan-wook Park's Vengeance Trilogy. The second in the series is Oldboy, but I haven't seen the first one yet. That's okay, because it's not necessary to view these in order. The thing about Lady Vengeance is that it really hits you in the gut with a powerful fist of raw, primal emotion.

This film deals with kidnapping, which can automatically invoke extreme feelings in just about all directions, if well done. And Park doesn't hold anything back. Lady Vengeance is "The Witch", a woman who can appear kind-hearted and full of love while at the same time so cold and calculating against people who have wronged her. She is sent to prison at the age of 19 for kidnapping and smothering a 5-year-old boy to death. When she is released thirteen years later and offered a tofu cake by a priest, she tips the cake onto the ground. This sets the mood of the entire film.

I found myself gripped by the characters, which are portrayed by outstanding actors, the story, which is intelligent and complex, and the emotions which are so basic you cannot avoid a vicarious experience. As with Oldboy, be prepared for anything, because everything is going to be put before you.

Posted by josuah at October 16, 2006 7:05 AM UTC+00:00

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