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Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance
2 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Chan-wook Park

Written By:
Chan-wook Park, Mu-yeong Lee, Jae-sun Lee, Yong-jong Lee

Kang-ho Song, Ha-kyun Shin, Du-na Bae, Dae-yeon Lee, Ju-bong Gi, Kwang-rok Oh, Seung-wan Ryoo, Se-dong Kim, Seung-beom Ryu, Gyu-su Jeong, Jae-yeong Jeong, Seung-beom Ryu, Ji-Eun Lim, Bo-bae Han, Kan-hie Lee

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002)
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Movie Review by Zara
September 27th, 2007


I'm bummed out that I didn't have internet access yesterday, because I was so amped after watching this movie, I really wanted to spill about it.

This movie was suggested to me by someone who reads by Bottom Shelf column, and after having bad luck with most of the suggestions that I've received through there, I didn't pin large hopes on this one. Plus Korean movies can be big hit or misses with me.

The story is an interesting one. When Ryu's beloved older sister needs a kidney transplant and he is denied as being her donor because they don't have the same blood type, he goes through the black market hoping to exchange one of his for one that WILL work for her. After maxing out a loan and going to see the black market butchers (urban legends really come true), he wakes up naked and missing two kidneys - one that was taken from him and one that was promised to him.

His girlfriend, a young revolutionary who he met in school (I've forgotten to mention that Ryu is deaf and mute) suggests that they kidnap the daughter of the man who fired him from the factory job that he was at. They treat the girl lovingly, wanting only the money for the operation and a new kidney and not to hurt the girl.

But things go horrifically wrong (as if losing your kidney to black market a**holes wasn't enough).

This is one of those rare movies that manages to leave a great deal of the discussion to the audience. In a time when everything is spelled out so that people don't feel like they missed anything, it's refreshing to get a chance to talk about moral implications and alternatives. (I would have done that... I would have never done this...)

We live in a current administration that tells us to sit down, shut up and believe option A on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and option B on the weekends and holidays. Things are not always that discernible. Sometimes bad people get away with doing bad things. Sometimes good people have to do bad things. Sometimes you can see plausibility and logic to both sides of the story.

Very haunting, incredible direction. Definitely check this one out.

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Sep 28, 2007 9:05 AM
Haunting is a perfect word for this one. I've watched this one twice, both times my kids were at their dad's house, and I've had to call them both times to make sure they were OK. This film is so well done it's ridiculous. Thank God for Chan-wook Park.

Sep 28, 2007 12:22 PM
K so now you gotta watch the rest of the vengeance trillogy.....Old Boy and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance are the dogs bollox you'll love em ;)

Chan-wook Park f*ckin rocks........k so no more coffee for me.

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