Oldboy was one of my favourite movies of 2004 and I looked forward to seeing Park Chan-wook's latest movie, Lady Vengeance, the third in his trilogy about revenge. Lady Vengeance is just as thrilling as Oldboy. And like Oldboy it is a richly detailed movie that must be seen at least twice.
Lee Guem-ja has been released from prison, where she served 13 years for the kidnapping and murder of a child. Like Oh Dae-su in Oldboy, Lee Guem-ja has spent her 13 years in jail plotting her revenge on the man responsible for her incarceration. That's about as much as you'll hear from me. If you want to know more I'm sure you can find it with or without spoiler warnings elsewhere on the internet. All I'll say is that just as Oldboy, Lady Vengeance continues, with about 30 minutes to go, where most other films stop. Getting what you want is not the end, but the beginning.
Park Chan-wook is one of today's most intelligent film makers. He excels in inventing symbols, something I find wanting in much contemporary cinema, theatre and art in general, and pars it with a keen eye for reality. In Hollywood movies people always miraculously speak the same language, albeit sometimes with a funny accent. Some of Lady Vengeance's most memorable scenes by contrast are built around a language gap.
Lady Vengeance is more subdued than Oldboy. The violence remains largely implicit, but for all that it is even more chilling. It left me wondering and wanting to see it again. Recommended.
My review of Oldboy.