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Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002)
"Boksuneun naui geot" (original title)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  29 March 2002 (South Korea)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 40,937 users   Metascore: 56/100
Reviews: 125 user | 133 critic | 21 from Metacritic.com

A recently laid off factory worker kidnaps his former boss' daughter, hoping to use the ransom money to pay for his sister's kidney transplant.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Ha-kyun Shin ...
Ryu
...
Ji-Eun Lim ...
Ryu's Sister
Bo-bae Han ...
Yu-sun
Se-dong Kim ...
Chief of Staff
Dae-yeon Lee ...
Choe
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Peng
Ju-bong Gi
Gyu-su Jeong
...
Husband of Dong-jin's ex-wife's
Kan-hie Lee ...
Park Dong-jin's ex-wife
Kwang-rok Oh ...
Anarchist
Jae-woong Park
Seung-wan Ryoo ...
Delivery Boy
Edit

Storyline

In Seoul, Ryu, a deaf worker has a sister who needs a kidney transplant. He tries to donate his own kidney to his sister, but his blood type is not compatible with hers. When Ryu is fired from Ilshin Electronics, he meets illegal dealers of organs, and the criminals propose that he give them his kidney plus ten millions Won to obtain a kidney suitable for his sister. Ryu accepts the trade, but he does not have money to pay for the surgery. His anarchist revolutionary girlfriend Cha Young-mi convinces him to kidnap Yossun, the daughter of his former employer Park, who owns Ilshin Electronics. However, a tragedy happens, generating revenge and a series of acts of violence. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Revenge Was Never This Sweet

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong gruesome violence, strong sexuality, language and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

29 March 2002 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance  »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$9,827 (USA) (19 August 2005)

Gross:

$45,243 (USA) (10 February 2006)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Ryu (Ha-kyun Shin) runs up and hits the organ seller over the head with the baseball bat, the filming crew was surprised as he was told to walk up behind and hit him, not sprint and strike. See more »

Goofs

When Ryu rides the elevator with the police with Cha Yeong-mi's dead body, the sheet used to cover the body gets "pulled" down instead of coming down on it's own. See more »

Quotes

Park Dong-jin: I know you're a good guy... but you know why I have to kill you...
See more »

Connections

Followed by Oldboy (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Grips you like a vice. Hits you like a ton of bricks.
22 September 2006 | by (The Penumbra) – See all my reviews

Before you watch this film, just be aware that you're not going to walk away from it with a big smile on your face. More like you'll want to slit your wrists. To say that Mr. Vengeance is a powerful, gut-wrenching nightmare is like saying that DaVinci merely dabbled in art.

The plot is so simple yet so complex. The direction is so elegant yet so hard-hitting. The simplistic nature of the story makes the descent into hell so shocking and captivating. You don't realize there is no going back until it's far, FAR too late.

Ryu is a deaf/mute who works in the loudest factory in the world, doing a really depressing job. His sister needs a kidney transplant, but they don't have the money to pay for it. He cannot give her one of his own because their blood types do not match. Ryu decides to go to black market organ traders to trade one of his own for one that matches his sister. Waking up naked and kidney-less in an abandoned building he now needs to raise money for his own kidney.

Ryu is now fired from his job by President Park, who is downsizing the company. His anarchist girlfriend Yeong-mi convinces him to kidnap Park's daughter and hold her to ransom. From then on, things get very, very, VERY heavy and the idea of who exactly Mr. Vengeance is is blurred and sympathy is felt for almost everyone. Revenge comes at a high price and seemingly never ends. Not that I am saying forgiving and forgetting is the way. But this movie will make you think twice about getting your own back.

The violence is spontaneous and extremely graphic without ever feeling exploitational. Sometimes it has a darkly comic feel to it, the rest of the time it's goddamn hardcore. You'll wince a great deal during this movie, that's for damn sure.

Park Chan-wook directs with such beautifully composed images that are far from the the garish MTV-style action/thriller movies produced in Hollywood these days. I don't want to sound like some sort of snob who proclaims all foreign films to be great and all Hollywood to be crap but it's not very often that Hollywood makes a film like this unless it's a remake. Written in a mere 20 hours in a single massive, creative outburst, this movie seems to have genius laced through every minute of it's running time.

Not a date movie, not a whogivesadamn pig-out movie. Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance is a film you will be sucked right into and you'll be far from happy when you emerge at the end. But what a horrific ride!


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