Thursday, March 23, 2006

Lady Vengeance

Dark is an overused adjective in film reviewing, a lazy way of describing any film where the protagonists do not smile much and the weather is bad.

Yet dark is still the primary adjective in describing this, the third film in Chan-Wook Park's Vengeance trilogy. The subject of this part deals with the aftermath of the kidnappping and murder of a young boy and the plan for revenge by the woman wrongly imprisioned for the crime. Yeong-ae Lee produces a truly mesmerising performance in the main role. She is able to portray Geum-ja Lee as conflicted character plotting for revenge, yet ultimately striving for redemption, finding the former far easier to achieve than the latter.

It is to be hoped that this film is never the subject of a Holywood remake (although, Old Boy, the second film in the trilogy has been remade in Bollywood), as sadly it would probably be converted into a bland thriller and the complex lead character whittled into a cypher.

So much thought as gone into this film, from the opening titles onwards. Each shot feels carefully composed with visuals that will be remembered long after the film has finished. It is not an easy film to watch, but a memorable one, nonetheless.

Content: Some very strong scenes of violence and a sexual nature.

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