Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002)
from IMDB: In Seoul, the deaf and dumb worker Ryu is very attached to his sister, who needs a transplantation of kidney. He tries to donate his own kidney to his sister, but his blood B type is not compatible with her. When Ryu is fired from Ilshin Electronics, he meets illegal dealers of organs and the criminals propose Ryu’s kidney plus ten millions Won per 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.
When it comes to the Vengeance trilogy, i wish i didn’t have to write about it (hence my incredibly long wait to post something on the subject) because i don’t want to ruin it with words that have most certainly already be said, written, and discussed countless of times.
So instead, let me just tell you the basics and post some pictures. Sympathy for Mr.Vengeance is a 2002 movie written and directed by (the one and only!) Park Chan-Wook. It stars and Ha-kyun Shin as Ryu, a deaf and dumb guy ready to do anything to save his sick sister, and Song Kang-ho (The Good, The Bad, The Weird, The Host, Thirst) as Park Dong-jin, Ryu’s cruel and nearly emotionless boss who becomes extremely sympathetic after experiencing the worst tragedy of all, the loss of his little daughter.
The movie is cruel and gruesome and extremely violent, but also sad and heartbreaking and all the other conflicting emotions that come when you choose the path of Vengeance. Ryu is dumb and deaf, and has a (really pretty) anarchic girlfriend, and they communicate thru sign language, and one of my favorite scenes is when they talk to each other on the bed, thru a mirror set in front of them.. so poetic.
As always, Park Chan Wook challenges the audience with hard-to-swallow subjects and controversial (but sadly realistic) scenes, such as the one where a group of teenage boys are against the apartment wall adjoining Ryu’s, furiously masturbating to the sounds of Ryu’s sister, thinking she is in the throes of orgasm. In actual fact, she is screaming in pain from her sickness, and Ryu, being deaf, is oblivious to the fact. That’s just one of the scenes that is simply just thrown in your face and hit all the right spots. And believe me when i tell you there is many, many more, but i don’t want to spoil it too much, just know that this is a masterpiece that needs to be seen regardless of your more or less appreciation for foreign cinema.
When watching this movie, the obvious question that comes up is “who should i sympathies with?” or ” who deserves to be the victim and who deserves his revenge?” only you can answer that question. and i would love to hear your opinion about it, so feel free to drop a comment and let the debate start.