Movie Title: Boksuneun naui geot / Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance
Date Released: March 29th, 2002 (South Korea)
Date Seen: 2012
Part 1 – Spoiler Free Quickie Review
This movie I found the most confusing of the three films – partly because a LOT goes on so it’s easy to get confused. Also, I don’t think the subtitles on the version I was watching were that great, so that could have also been a contributing factor.
The movie centers around a deaf man, Ryu (Ha-kyun Shin) and his quest to find his sister a new kidney as to save her life. It pretty much just starts going downhill with a giant domino effect of bad thing causes bad thing, bad decision causes bad thing, causes other bad thing. But never-the-less, it’s a highly entertaining movie.
This movie relied heavily on wide-angle shots where you could see everyone in the scene’s reaction to whatever was going on. I liked that because it made a number of scenes more memorable. It also had some hilarious little moments that had you cracking up, but also feeling like a sick human being at the same time… for example, they use dry ice they get from a Baskin Robbins ice cream cake to keep organs cool. It’s a very dark humor, and I like it.
Doona Bae is in this movie as “Cha Yeong-mi”. Yeong-mi is an awesome character. You never know what you’re going to get from her. Doona Bae does a great job in this role. One of my favorite scenes from the movie involves her, but I won’t spoil it for you.
Overall, this movie is pretty violent, like the other films, it just goes about it in a different way. You’re never sure who you want to feel sorry for in this film – so you are conflicted with yourself as you watch the movie. It’s an interesting experience…. And probably exactly what Park wanted in his film. You’re unsure who to sympathize with.
Part 2 – In Depth Spoiler Ridden Review/Synopsis
There’s a synopsis here.
As I mentioned above, one of my favorite scenes involves Donna Bae – and it’s the torture scene. It is a pretty brutal torture scene… made in part by the fact that you don’t really directly see the torture. That makes it so much worse. If memory serves me right, you see her get shocked a couple of times before he puts the blanket over her head and goes nuts on the shocks. I think imagining what is going on under the blanket is even scarier than actually seeing it.
My other favorite scene is really a sequence – when the one organ dealer goes and picks up the baskin robbins cake, just for the dry ice, heads back to his lair, and then Ryu comes in and kicks their asses. Pretty awesome. It was well shot, amusing, violent, and extremely satisfying all at the same time.
The most fun part about this movie is debating who you want to sympathize with.
Ryu – who lost his job, sister, kidney, money, but devised the plan to kidnap Park’s daughter and it resulted in her death.
Park – whose daughter was kidnapped and murdered, but tortured and murdered Yeong-mi, murders Ryu, and also seemed to be kind of a dick all around.
Obviously you feel the worst for the little girl who was a victim of it all – but who do you sympathize with? Anyone? Tough call.
The weakest of the three films in my opinion, with some great sequences, still a decent plot, and a fair amount of gross-out scenes.