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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 40,564 users   Metascore: 56/100
Reviews: 125 user | 132 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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Edit

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:

 »
Edit

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

After the enormous success of 'Joint Security Area', Park Chan Wook was given "carte blanche" to make whatever film he wanted in Korea. After searching for another "vengence-minded" script with no success, he finished the script he was working on before making 'Joint Security Area'. See more »

Goofs

In the ransom photo of Yoosun, she is wearing the necklace Ryu made. However, he hadn't given her the necklace when he took the photo, it was later, when he traded the necklace for her doll. See more »

Quotes

Cha Yeong-mi: The bad image kidnappers get is because of kids getting killed. But we're different. Give us the money and we'll return the kid pronto.
See more »

Connections

Remade as Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2018) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Modern masterpiece.
17 August 2005 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance is, simply put, the best film I have seen all year.

Chan-wook Park's mastery of cinematic language is stunning. I Recently saw Oldboy, and was intrigued by the style and freshness of that film. but where Oldboy sometimes degenerates (albeit in a very entertaining fashion) into simple violence and visceral satisfaction, Mr. Vengeance does not.

Those not accustomed to a slower paced film may say that there is too much postulation and ambiguity in this film, but they would be completely wrong. Never has a film managed to capture my attention so fully as this one. The majority of the time, we are left in quiet reflection of the events hat have taken place. The setting is rich and South Korea is shown in all its glory as a culture emerging from a somewhat torn past.

Every moment is beautifully framed and executed, and there are multiple ways in which the viewer is drawn into the lives of the characters that exist in this space. Colour is obviously very important to park, as each moment is perfectly balanced and flows from frame to frame in a way that would make most Hollywood directors green with envy.

The themes of vengeance and tragic fate are intertwined in such a way that almost numbs the senses after a time. Even though there is no "hero" or "villian" in this film, each character shares the spotlight in turn and the motivations for their actions are slowly revealed, justified, and then torn apart as fate intervenes to bring everything to a point of complete helplessness and futility.

A very powerful, beautiful film.


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