I sat and watched Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, and when it was over I sat a while longer and just stared into space.Here is a movie about some of the most profoundly debased things people can do to each other in the name of love, and its most astonishing attribute is that we do not feel anger for the perpetrators, but instead a terrible sadness.
What draws me into movies like this? For some reason I have an affinity for stories that do not leave room for false hope, that show everything without having to explain anything. There's no interpretation needed for a movie like this, no handholding or finger-pointing; everything required is right there in front of you. Like STAR 80 or Naked or Salò, it's impossible to look away from this even when the most terrible things are taking place onscreen.
I doubt seriously I can recommend this film to everyone. The movie begins on a note of unfocused dread and ends in abject, unblinking horror, and there is a scene near the end when I asked myself in all seriousness if I wanted to keep watching. And yet I stuck with it, because director and screenwriter Chan-wook Park (of the outstanding JSA) has managed to show how all of this comes out of his characters without seeming forced or cheap.Read more
"Well, all right," she says, "although I don't know if this one was real or just something I read somewhere." And with that she launches into a story about a boy in a wheelchair and her tutor, a strange woman named Dogfahr. Read more