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Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance
Sympathy for Mr Vengeance
Actors: Kang-ho Song, Ha-kyun Shin, Doona Bae, Ji-Eun Lim, Bo-bae Han
Director: Chan-wook Park
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
R     2005     2hr 9min

Unable to afford proper care for his sister dying from kidney failure, Ryu turns to the black market to sell his own organs only to end up cheated of his life savings. His girlfriend urges Ryu to kidnap the daughter of wea...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Kang-ho Song, Ha-kyun Shin, Doona Bae, Ji-Eun Lim, Bo-bae Han
Director: Chan-wook Park
Creators: Chan-wook Park, Dong-jun Seok, Jae-sun Lee, Jin-gyu Lim, Jong-yong Lee, Mu-yeong Lee
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Tartan Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 11/22/2005
Original Release Date: 01/01/2002
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2002
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 2hr 9min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 11
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: Korean
Subtitles: English, Spanish

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Movie Reviews

First of Chan-Wook Park's Revenge Trilogy
Hansol Lee | 09/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Korean cinema continues to impress as Chan-Wook Park proves "JSA: Joint Security Area" was no fluke. "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance" is not an easy movie to stomach. It contains some of the most graphic scenes of violence I've seen in a long time, and many of the subject matters it deals with are unsettling and downright depressing. It's an absolutely gripping film, however. As with JSA, the major strength is the solid premise and plot -- a chain reaction of tragedies of Shakespearian proportions. There is no clear line between good and evil -- it's merely a conflict between two groups of people who just happen to be on the opposite sides of the fence (metaphorically, this time).

There is very little dialogue (Park says he tried to limit it to bare minimum), but the superb acting (especially Du-Na Bae playing the villain against type and Ha-Kyun Shin as the deaf/mute protagonist) and stylish widescreen shots are more than enough to carry the story.

This is the first installment of Chan-wook Park's Revenge Trilogy (followed by "Oldboy" and "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance")."
Goes Beyond Old Boy
A Street's Disciple | 05/13/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Old Boy is like eating cooked salmon.

This is like cutting into raw tuna.

I have never seen anything like this. This is more disturbing than any American/Japanese cinema combined.
Horrifyingly disjointed, disturbingly real--because it could happen to any one of us.

These Koreans. They can make movies. Jesus Christ."
A Brother's Love
Daitokuji31 | Black Glass | 10/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"After watching Park's film _Oldboy_ the night before, I decided to also watch his earlier film _Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance_ as well. Unlike _Oldboy_, I had heard very little concerning _Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance_, but considering the exhaustively emotional experience of watching the newer film, I definitely wanted to check out Park's earlier work. I must say that I found this film to be more disturbing than Park's blockbuster.

The film opens with a quite touching scene in which a letter sent by the death-mute Ryu is read at a radio station. The letter states how much Ryu appreciates the sacrifices his sister has made for him throughout his life and now, because his sister needs a kidney transplant, it is time for him to repay her kindness.

Sounds like the opening for a great tearjerker, but, being a Park Chan Wook film, things begin to go hideously wrong. Stuff begins to hit the fan when Ryu learns that his blood type is B while his sister's is A, so his kidney is useless to her. Not wanting to give up the fight, Ryu exchanges his kidney and 10 million Won, around ten thousand dollars, for a type A kidney. At least, this is what he had hoped to do. So penniless, and without one of his kidneys, Ryu soon learns that a kidney is available for his sister and he only needs to pay the ten million won to make his sister well. Of course Ryu is broke and to make matters worse he has also been fired, so what is our green haired protagonist to do? Teaming up with is sprightly revolutionist girlfriend Cha Yeongmi, Bae Du Na, Ryu plans to kidnap the daughter of his former boss. Things go well at first, but, of course, the situation becomes worse and worse for Ryu.

This is a frightening film. There were some truly terrifying moments in _Oldboy_, but this films works on a more visceral level. One can almost feel the tension boiling within Ryu and the desperation that he must feel in his desire to aid his older sister. Also, it should be mentioned that the acting of Sang Gang Ho, playing the part of the kidnapped girl's father, is extraordinary. He is definitely the most aggressive and frightening character in the film.
Blood-soaked masterpiece...
Dimitrios | Greece | 09/07/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"As so many other people I decided to watch this film because I was impressed by the brilliant "Oldboy" and wanted to check the previous work of this fine Korean director. Although "Sympathy for Mr Vengeance" is a little bit less impressive than "Oldboy", it is very powerful with some very brutal scenes of nasty revenge methods. The story has many surprises, and some back and forth movement regarding the time sequence, but the finale is unpredictable and hard hitting indeed!"