Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance: Rob G’s Review

Story: Ryu is deaf and dumb, and he will do anything for his ailing sister. In fact, he’s willing to sell his own organs and give up his life savings to find his sister a new kidney. After being cheated, he and his girlfriend plot a simple kidnapping, but unforeseen tragedies shatter the lives of all those involved. And that’s when the vengeance begins.
The Film Itself: Ok. I was warned by Jsyn (who caught this in theaters) that the woman sitting in front of him wouldn’t stop crying and that at one point, a gentleman got up to leave the theater and passed out in the aisle. I was warned, I watched the film, and now I’m warning YOU. This is emotionally as brutal as it gets. But this movie is also in a strange way, absolutely beautiful. You can’t help but feel sympathetic for every character, especially Ryu, who simply wants the best for his sick sister. It only makes it harder & harder to watch when he screws up over & over again. I don’t want to give away too much. It’s best you let this film unfold without any knowledge of what’s to follow, but I will mention that a few different characters seek out vengeance, and you can’t help but feel both sympathetic and angry for both of them. The music is surprisingly minimal in this flick, as is the dialogue, but Chanwook Park is the king of visual storytelling. Perhaps this is a subliminal way to communicate Ryu’s lack of voice and hearing? I love the way Ryu’s girlfriend sets up a mirror in front of their bed, so when they’re both laying down, they can communicate with sign language thru the mirror. Moments like this are matched by a few brutal kills. Most of them much deserved! Much like OLDBOY, another chapter in Chanwook Park’s “VENGEANCE” trilogy, this is a must-see original flick.
Special Features: Tartan steps up again. We’ve got director commentary, subtitled for the flick. There’s also the original theatrical trailer and a few scenes from the third film in the “vengeance” trilogy ‘Lady Vengeance’. There’s plenty of peaks at other Tartan Asia Extreme releases if you’re looking for more sicko entertainment. The features aren’t as packed as the OLDBOY disc, but the movie alone is well worth this DVD investment. – robg.

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