Friday, February 9, 2007


Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (친절한 금자씨)

친절한 금자씨 Tonight, I finished a Korean film "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance" ("친절한 금자씨") by director Park Chan-wook (朴贊郁) who also made the fantastic "Oldboy" (올드보이). But it becomes so insignificant in comparison with "Oldboy."

Perhaps my expectation is too high, I am very disappointed with this last installment of director's vengeance trilogy.

In "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance," Lee Guem-ja was jailed for kidnapping and killing a six years old boy. During her prison time, she becomes well liked and builds an ally with fellow inmates. Upon her release thirteen years later, she begins her revenge on the guy who is responsible for her ordeals.

In "Oldboy," I experience the rage of the character and feel sympathy during each step of his actions. But not for this lady in "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance." I absolutely feel detached emotionally to this Guem-ja character. Instead, while watching the film, I am waiting to see what other bizarre things might happen next. I feel like passing by a bad car accident on a highway. The horrible scene is quickly forgotten without making any sense. Not that I try to.

The plot is quite confusing. To me, the reason for some subplots to exist is more for shocking value rather than for building film's characters. For example, those prison lesbian comic moments are tasteless to me and I don't think they are funny.

Despite the rich visual, the story doesn't add up. And worse, it gets lost in the style.

My rating: 4 out of 10.

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