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
In Korean culture, there is a superstition that electric fans can lead to death, and there are at least two scenes in the film showing this. The first is when Yu-sun (Han Bo-bae) and Ryu's sister (Im Ji-eun) are using one in their apartment, the second being when Park Dong-jin (Song Kang-ho) discovers the dead family of the electrical engineer who cut his hand. While both these cases weren't what caused these people to die, the fact that there was a fan running in both of these scenes, does not seem like a coincidence. Director Park definitely did this on purpose. See more »
During the scene where engineer Peng slashes his stomach four times, notice his strokes. He makes a semi-short stroke, then two strokes that are similar in length, and then a very long stroke on the bottom. All of these strokes are relatively straight; although, when you see the close-up of his gashes bleeding, you see that the first stroke is very short and angled down, and the bottom stroke is much shorter than the middle two, even though it should obviously be longer. See more »
What an erratic and interesting ride it has been for violence infested movies throughout the long decades of cinematic experiments so far. Whether it was combinations of drama, horror, even comedy or the fusion of all three simultaneously, their results rarely attained much impact aside from delivering pure shock value and strong cult followings. Nevertheless, such unfortunate stereotypes didn't prevent me from seeking out films that most people proclaimed to be "hard to stomach". Better luck next time; Funny Games, Fingered and countless cannibal themed films from Italy, respectively of course.
I often come upon films that try very hard to make me look away from the screen and try even harder to make me empathize with the characters who are delivering and or receiving the poorly climaxed torment. Such cinematic pretentiousness finds no place in my mind and gets discarded as soon as processed.
And then came Mr. Vengeance. Possibly to aid the ever growing genre of dramatically pragmatic films, bravely dealing with real life stories in a bold and sometimes unseen fashion.
What made Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance all that much visceral was the fact that there was no pleasant music to tranquilize the painful story and beautify the scenery, nor was there any stylish before-and-after fight facial expressions and catchy lines to make the whole experience seem out of this world and cool. Not that there is anything wrong with using those elements in film. And it needs to be noted how interesting Kang-ho Song is always to watch, whether he's playing an aspiring wrestler, a small town inspector or a father on an avenging rampage. Credible acting is essential in films that have to deal with heavy biases for being mentally hard to digest and visually difficult to appreciate, gladly SFMV had those holes covered with an ease.
The entire flow of the story seemed very effortless and drag free. Both the action and reaction of each character seemed to be traveling at such fast speed that rarely gave you time to over-analyze their motives and directions, which ultimately helped the story to signify the depth and restlessness of each person on a mission to get their revenge.
Audiences are always mercilessly expressing their distraught over revenge flicks for one reason or another, so if you still have any room and temptation left to see a serious and sophisticated side of revenge then I can't recommend a better film, by a better director, to take you on the hybrid journey of pain, retribution and more pain.
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