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daisho2004

Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005)

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Sympathy for Lady Vengeance:

MOVIE DESCRIPTION

Acclaimed filmmaker Park Chan Wook returns to the director's chair to helm Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, one of the most highly anticipated Korean films of 2005. The film marks the end of Park's hugely popular "Vengeance Trilogy", a series of films that began with 2002's Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and continued with 2003's internationally successful Old Boy. Unlike most trilogies, this trio of pictures is united not by plot or by characters, but by its thematic content, namely, revenge and its terrible consequences.

Actress Lee Young Ae (Joint Security Area, Jewel in the Palace) takes up the leading role in Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, portraying Geum Ja, a beautiful woman just released from jail after thirteen years of imprisonment. Her crime? The kidnapping and brutal murder of a young child. Through the use of flashbacks, it is revealed that Geum Ja was extremely kind and generous to the other prisoners during her internment, earning a widespread reputation as a veritable saint among the imprisoned women.

However, Geum Ja's polite behavior masks her true intentions, for it seems she is totally innocent of the charges brought against her and is covertly hatching an elaborate plan to seek retribution on the twisted Mr. Baek, an English teacher played by Old Boy's Choi Min Sik who is responsible for her unjust conviction. And as soon as Geum Ja is released from prison, her demeanor changes. Once kind and considerate, she becomes cold and calculating. Enlisting the help of a retired cop (Nam Il Woo) and her daughter Jenny (who was adopted by an Australian couple during the anti-heroine's incarceration), Geum Ja sets in motion her plan for bitter vengeance, but will she succeed? Find out in Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, a film that may just prove why revenge is a dish best served cold!

My Review: I finally got to watch this movie last night and it started out OK but it slowed down in the middle it was a little hard to find out who she was planning her revenge on, since it really didn't explain that much to you except why she was in Jail, it really wasn't until towards the end when you realized who she was setting her vengeance upon, without spoiling the end all I will say is that I thought it had a message, is Justice served better by our Own Hands or by the Law? That is something you have to decide for yourself. But overall it was an OK movie. I would give it 3 out of 5 stars.

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I have to say that although I am a massive fan of OldBoy and can't sing its praises highly enough, neither Sympathy for Mr Vengrance or Sympathy for Lady Vengeance really did anything for me. Sympathy for Mr Vengeance in particular was just too relentlessly nilhistic for my tastes, by about half way through the film I had got the message loud and clear that pursuing revenge no matter what the cost can only end in disaster.

Perhaps it was because I watched OldBoy first so had overly high expectations for both films, or maybe it was because OldBoy is based on a manga that makes it stand out from the crowd so much. The pacing of Sympathy for Lady Vengeance in my opinion was very uneven, I'm not sure if I watched it again I'd feel differently but certainly the first (and at this point only) time I viewed it I found myself yawning several times through its duration.

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I think that Lady Vengeance is the weakest of the 3 films, but still a worthy and beautifully made movie.

Unlike One Armed Boxer though, I absolutely LOVED Mr Vengeance just because it was so bleak and nihilistic. You can't really watch it over and over like some flicks, but it packs such an emotional punch. Oldboy was a great film, but Mr Vengeance is on my all time Top 10.

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I'm probably not with the crowd on this one.

Yes, OLD BOY was great. Yes, Old Boy was a classic, gritty, hardcore revenge tale, but for me I loved SYMPATHY FOR LADY VENGEANCE so much more.

I think the weakest of the 3 revenge films would be Mr. Vengeance.

Two thumbs up for LADY VENGEANCE!!

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I think what's more important than which of these three films is the best one, is that these three films blow away almost everything else coming out of Korea or any other country! All three are fantastic, and if anyone reading this hasn't seen them... do yourself a favor and check them out. They're all highly original, brutal, well-scripted, astonishingly acted and directed films. Park is up there with Scorsese and Coppola IMO.

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