Netflix A-Z: Lady Vengeance (2005)

Next up on Netflix A-Z, we’re looking at a foreign film, thanks to a recommendation on this selection being a favorite out of the Vengeance trilogy by Chan Wook Park.  I personally love Chan Wook Park or at least the movies I’ve seen, like Stoker (which blew my mind). You can find that review HERE!  Its one of my earlier reviews so it might not be as polished.  Regardlesss, I’m giving this one a go even if its the final installment of the trilogy but from what I understand, it has nothing to do with each other storywise but just in theme, so we should be good to go! 😉

Let’s check it out!

Lady Vengeance (2005)

Lady Vengeance

Director: Chan-wook Park

Cast: Yeong-ae Lee, Min-sik Choi, Shi-hoo Kim, Yea-young Kwon

After being in prison for 13 years for murdering a 6 year old boy, Geun-ja Lee is released back into the modern world.  Except this time, she has an elaborate plan to revenge on the man who is the actual killer.  She asks for help from her friends on this endeavor.

 Chan-wook Park has a distinct style in his work.  Its dark and peculiar for the most part.  Stoker and Oldboy both highly resonated those tones and Lady Vengeance is no different.  The intricate focus on the meticulous planning for a revenge by Geun-ja Lee is pretty spectacular.  The colors and the story was good.  However, the first half of the movie took a while for me to warm up to.  Maybe its also the fact that watching a movie like this takes the right mood and I wasn’t particularly in one of those moods but still wanted to check this out. I guess what I should be saying is that the other characters here playing opposite the main character has a distinct difference.  A lot of them are very naive or innocent even if a lot of them were prison mates.  Is that a statement on how Geun-ja Lee isn’t really as “kind” as she claims to be? Or that vengeance changes a person?

lady vengeance

Calm, collected and rather emotionless, Geum-ja Lee is a really great character.  I think the best part of the movie resides in her character and the planning and reactions she makes.  It is mysterious and dark.  There’s something that lurks behind all this that we can never pinpoint. But then, its not hard to be tough after 13 years of jail or having gone through what she has. The thrill of Lady Vengeance is Geum-ja Lee and wondering what she’ll do next. How does all the pieces in the first half fit together to see the ending.  She isn’t all evil.  She seeks redemption and revenge all at the same time.

lady vengeance

Lady Vengeance is a puzzle where the movie pieces itself together step by step.  Its rather slow and bizarre that builds to a rather brutal way.  It works on a more psychological level than say, Oldboy (which I have seen but haven’t reviewed here). The introduction sequence with credits is done so beautiful and setting the stage with beautiful music also.  Its hard to talk about Lady Vengeance without ruining the experience you would get with a fresh view of going into this.  It is a pretty movie to watch from music to cinematography and a good revenge tale.

I’m watching this revenge trilogy completely out of order but that’s okay.  Lady Vengeance was totally worth the time.  Its a little slow in the beginning and I wasn’t sure how I felt about it but as the story pieces together, it turns out to be really fantastic and well-crafted. Its a little mind-boggling but the movie answers most of the questions. It well worth a watch.  I say this one might even be more memorable than Oldboy (since I don’t remember a whole lot except for the shocking ending).

Have you seen Lady Vengeance? How about Chan-wook Park’s revenge trilogy? What are your thoughts?

I’m slowly catching up with Netflix A-Z.  I just needed some TV time with the frequent theatre visits.
But we are back! The next selection is for letter M.  Any guesses? Hint: Foreign (again)

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