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Sympathy for Lady Vengeance
4 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Chan-wook Park

Written By:
Chan-wook Park, Seo-Gyeong Jeong

Min-sik Choi, Tony Barry, Hye-jeong Kang, Byeong-ok Kim, Dae-yeon Lee, Dal-su Oh, Ha-kyun Shin, Kang-ho Song, Ji-tae Yu, Kwang-rok Oh, Seung-wan Ryoo, Seung-Shin Lee, Jin-seo Yun, Bu-seon Kim, Yeong-ae Lee, Mi-ran Ra, Anne Cordiner, Yea-young Kwon, Su-hee Go, Shi-hoo Kim, Su-gyeong Lim, Il-woo Nam, Yeong-ju Seo

Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005)
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Movie Review by Zara
July 22nd, 2009

While this is still on par for being the excellent visual explosion that Park brings to all of his directing and even though I appreciated the movie an intense amount, I will be honest and say that it didn't touch me nearly as deeply as SYMPATHY FOR MR VENGEANCE did.

LADY is the third in what is a loosely held together triology by Park, starting with OLDBOY, and including this and the other aforementioned vengeance flick. The movies are tied together in theme alone, being that when it comes to personal vengeance or salvation, things are never black and white. There was so much going on in MR that it almost overwhelmed me. In this installment, if you can or would call it that, there is less of that theme going on.

I guess it's because I've seen other movies about a wronged mother and her need to rescue a child stolen from her (KILL BILL preceded this but holds a similar mentality even though its answers lie in brutality and less in moral contemplation). While you are feeling sympathy for the leading lady, you also admire her for traits which are usually absent in female characters (and especially in female Asian characters). She is direct, filled with malice and seemingly no remorse and gets whatever she sets out to have/do.

Still, the moral lesson is lost when it begins to get mucked up in the vengeance side story of the families who have also lost children. Park manages to still throw in one of his trademark "you didn't see THAT coming" loopholes that catch you off guard, but there is less of an understanding that people have come to see their world with more clarity. The leading lady does, as does the narrator, but as for the lesson that is normally taught to the audience, it's somewhere lost in translation.

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