2005’s Sympathy for Lady Vengeance is the final film in South Korean director Park Chan-wook’s “Vengeance Trilogy” after Sympathy for Mr Vengeance and Oldboy, and is, in this humble snail’s opinion, the strongest of all three.
Lee Yeong-ae plays Geum-ja, who 13 years previously was arrested for confessing to an awful crime: the murder of a child. During her time in prison she converted to Christianity and took on a saintly image, all the while fantasizing about her revenge on those who wronged her. Upon her release she sets out with her fellow released inmates to clear her name and find the daughter she was forced to leave behind.
The film isn’t as technically stunning as Oldboy, but in many ways is a more beautiful and haunting film that lingers in your mind for longer. In the West Lady Vengeance was inevitably compared to Tarantino’s bloated duo of Kill Bill films which had been released a couple of years prior; but this is a veritable healthy meal compared to a whole pile of empty calories.
An American adaptation was mooted back in 2012, with Charlize Theron attached to star. Hopefully it will remain in the past, considering how competently-made but achingly pointless Spike Lee’s remake of Oldboy turned out to be. The critics ravaged it in 2013, and it died a box-office death.
If you can locate it, I recommend the “Fade to Black-And-White Version” of the film, which as you would expect, gradually removes all colour from the film as it reaches its conclusion.
Take care of yourselves and have an awesome day, Avocado!