Violent revenge drama from director Chan-wook Park. Geum-ja Lee (Yeong-ae Lee) is a young woman who works for underworld crime boss Mr Baek (Min-sik Choi). Taking the fall for the abduction and murder of a child, Geum-ja is sent to prison at the age of 19. When she realises that she has been framed by Mr Baek himself, she spends 13 years in prison planning her revenge. On her release, she exacts her vengeance against Mr Baek's goons, before a final confrontation with the mentor who betrayed her.
It's rare that a movie combines extreme violence, visual panache, and gut-wrenching emotion, but Lady Vengeance
is just such a movie. Geum-ja Lee (the lovely Yeong-ae Lee, Joint Security Area
) is sent to prison at the age of 19 for kidnapping and murdering a 5-year-old boy. She becomes a model prisoner, apparently converting to Christianity and helping care for ill prisoners--but in fact, she's slowly making connections that will allow her to wreak revenge on the man responsible for her imprisonment. The first half of Lady Vengeance
, in which Geum-ja Lee's plans are laid and her victim captured, spins to and fro in time with dizzying speed, moving fluidly among multiple narrative tracks. But once the man is in her clutches, the movie takes a turn that proves more harrowing and more emotionally complex than the previous films in writer/director Chan-wook Park's "vengeance trilogy," Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance
--and if you've seen either of those films, you'll understand what a feat that is. These movies have much in common with the revenge tragedies written by contemporaries of Shakespeare; ornate plots full of extreme violence and perverse sex that delve into the darkest--yet often most vulnerable--sides of humanity. For all its sensational aspects, Lady Vengeance
observes the toll of vengeance on the revenger; there's nothing cheap or easy about it. This movie, even more than Oldboy
, demonstrates that Chan-wook Park is one of the most vital filmmakers of our time. --Bret Fetzer
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.