Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005)

The last of Park Chan-wooks Vengeance trilogy tells the tale of a beautiful women planning her revenge after serving 13 years in jail for a murder she did not commit. 

So. Park Chan-wooks trilogy of films refered to as The Vengeance Trilogy is not narratively connected, but was dubbed The Vengeance Trilogy for their recurring themes of revenge, sympathy. violence and psychological torture. The film we will talk about today is in english called Sympathy for Lady Vengeance

So. We have this gorgeous woman Lee Geum-ja being released after serving a jail sentence for a child murderer still at large, and during these 13 years in jail she has hatched the perfect revenge plan, against the man who killed all these children, and during her time incarcarated she has also gained some valuable allies. She is shown to being known as the prison Witch. The woman who actually managed to control everything that had happened in the prison and had therefore gained her fellow inmates respect and favours. She is a cunning and beautiful women hellbent on revenge.


The lead role here is played by Lee Young-ae and she is as talented as she is believeable as the psychothic beautiful women bent on revenge. With blood red eye shadow and cutting of her little finger she shows some truly shocking decisions and it shows exactly how disturbing this character is, and how good the screenplay is.

Sympathy. Should I really feel sympathy for a women obsessed with torture and revenge on a man? No, but I somehow do. the screenplay manages to play with our emotions in a way that we get a whole lot of sympathy for this “Lady on her quest for vengeance ”

This is a violent psychological thriller and the violence here is beautiful. I know it may sound a bit odd to say that seeing physical violence towards a human body is beautiful but Chan-wook manages it. With his loyal partner in cinematography Chung Chung-hoon he manages to make every scene in this film look so good, and the scenes after Geum-ja has found her target and starts torturing him is disturbingly cool to look at. Every action in the scene. Every piece of costume, dialogue. It all makes sense and it all makes the movie look so great.


We have all had the feeling of wanting revenge on someone. Someone who hurt us badly. Park Chan-wook takes the feeling of wanting revenge, and puts it out on a big screen. and the result is always golden. This man can so anything. Here we have the theme of psychological torture. He manages to torture both the viewer and the characters in the film in a way I really can’t think of any other filmmaker that is even close to achieving. It is

The music in this film is written by Choi Seung-hyun and is heavily barouque inspired. It fits so great to the theme of the film that they are using a piece from Vivaldis “Cessate, omai Cessate” which is about a woman seeking revenge for something a man did to her a long time ago.


Park Chan-wook knows this kind of movies better than anyone. How to make a dark, sinister movie about revenge. The directing is beautiful. The film is so gorgeous it is almost a crime, and Chan-wooks directing is magical. He is the kind of movie director that just gets you hooked to a screen. He is steadily becoming one of my favorite movie directors and this is another masterpiece. It is not as good as The Handmaiden which may be my favorite film of all time, but it is still amazing.

Score: 8/10


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