Thursday, March 15, 2007

Lady Vengeance (2005, Chan-wook Park)

"After a 13-year imprisonment for the kidnap and murder of a 6 year old boy, beautiful Lee Guem-ja starts seeking revenge on the man that was really responsible for the boy's death. With the help of fellow inmates and reunited with her daughter, she gets closer and closer to her goal. But will her actions lead to the relief she seeks?"

I have loved every single minute of Chan-wook Park's revenge trilogy. Each film is so different from one another and each film is so perfect in it's own way. It really is one of the greatest achievements in modern day cinema, and will without a doubt go down as one of the greatest achievements in all of cinema. All 3 films are really that amazing and when seen as a trilogy become even more amazing.

After seeing the bleak brutality of Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and the hyper intense violence of Oldboy, I really had no idea of what to expect from Lady Vengeance. I was expecting a revenge film of course but instead I got a very inner and poetic film. I really applaud Park for choosing to end his trilogy with a quiet note instead of a huge bang.

That's not saying that the film is boring. The odd out of order editing keeps the film moving fast and the final 30 minutes is perfect and gives the film, and the trilogy, a perfect ending. The framing,direction,cinematography,colors, and performances are once again top notch. Park has a certain confidence in his direction that it makes it seem as though he has been directing for a long time. It is remarkable that this is still one of his first films in his first "era". I really can not wait to see this guy bloom into an even more amazing director. This guy is going to get into the league of the masters. There is no doubt about this.

The only flaw I felt that Lady Vengeance had was it's editing, to a certain point, and it's voice over. I would just like to write that these are not flaws at all. They are just very minor complaints. The editing feels very odd for the first 30 or so minutes and stuff is hard to get, but just like Park did in Mr. Vengeance, everything makes perfect sense at the end. The voice over also feels odd at first but also makes perfect sense at the end and gives the film a very poetic feeling. I just believe that the film would have achieved a more poetic atmosphere if the voice over did not exist.

These are just minor complaints. I already loved the film and I am sure the film will get it's "+" upon a second viewing.

Park's trilogy has been an amazing thing to watch. Every single one of these films is a masterpiece and every single one of these films deserves a top spot in any "best of 00's" list.

- ***1/2

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