Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005)
Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005)
Critic Consensus: Stylistically flashy and gruesomely violent, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance fits in nicely with the other two films of Park's revenge trilogy.
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as Lee Geum-ja
as Mr. Chang
as Bakery Employee Geun-shik
as Mr. Baek
as Det. Choi
as Park Yi-jeong
as Woo So-young
as Choir 1
as Choir 2
as Woo So-yeong
as Choir 3
as Choir 4
as "The Witch"
as Choir 5
as Kim Yang-heui
as Choir 6
as Choir 7
as Won-mo's Friend
as Chief Choi
as Won-mo's Father
as Won-mo's Mother
as Ko Sun-sook
as Kim Yang-hee
as Oh Soo-Hee
as Jenny's Adoptive Father
as Jenny's Adoptive Mother
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Critic Reviews for Sympathy for Lady Vengeance
... as brutal as it is beautiful.
Squanders plot impetus, and even with constant crosscutting it's lethargically paced, slogging through soap-operatic back stories and maddening irrelevancies.
The films strain to present some kind of moral compass, a philosophy of revenge's human toll. But in the end, their sadistic glee in creative bloodshed trumps all.
Because I am a connoisseur of art cinema, my feelings about Lady Vengeance are complex. Some parts I liked; some parts I didn't.
Audience Reviews for Sympathy for Lady Vengeance
The final part of Chan-wook Park's vengeance trilogy sees an angelic looking young woman imprisoned for the kidnap and murder of a young child. Upon her release from prison 13 years later, her plan for vengeance on the real killer is set in motion. The core of the film is the duality of Yeong-ae Lee's role; her angelic appearance belying her ruthless and single-minded pursuit of her goal, and her quest for vengeance tempered by her feelings guilt about her part in the boy's death. It's not as bleak as Oldboy and does not have it's complex relationships and twists and turns in plot. The characters find some form of redemption by it's end, although the psychology of revenge is examined; do two wrongs make a right? Min-sik Choi's child killer is completely without redeeming qualities, but it is still uncomfortable seeing his suffering at the hands of the people he has wronged even though they are acting on the part of justice rather than cruelty. Visually, it's stunning. Chan-wook Park's eye for composition is wonderful, and combined with a beautiful use of colour, location, costume and set design it truly is breath taking to look at. The title sequence and even end credits are gorgeously designed; add to this a lovely baroque soundtrack and the product is something akin to an cinematic work of art.
A young woman sets out for revenge and redemption after serving 13 years in prison for a grim crime. Why she sets out revenge is something I don't want to give away, but let's just say that it's rather heartbreaking. This is part three of Park Chan-wook's "Vengeance Trilogy", and, like the other two, it provides a unique take on the concept of vengeance, and the consequences and repercussions of it. It's not quite as good as Oldboy, but it's more polished and solid than Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance. Similar to how "Mr. Vengeance" had shades of Fargo, this one has shades of stuff like Natural Born Killers or even Serial Mom with the quasi documentary way parts of the story are told, namely with the interview segments and flashbacks that pepper in the development for the lead character. It also love the (very dark) sense of humor and irony, both in these scenes, and throughout the film as a whole. Don't get me wrong, this is a very serious, grim, and unsettling film, but there is a clear sense of gallows humor that follows the proceedings, even in some of the more brutal moments. The characters are well rounded, and the acting is tremendous. Lee Yeong-ae is front and center here, and this is one amazing performance. Like the other two films in the trilogy, there's some really tough subject matter, but the actors manage to get through it remarkably. The art direction, visuals, editing, and music are top notch, and this one is really gorgeous. What I love as well is that (and this includes all three films of the trilogy) is how, no matter how graphic and disturbing the content is, there is always a point to it, and when they end, you are left with a lot to think about. Give this one a look. It's hard to watch at times, but it's worth it.
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