Total Film - 06/01/2006 4 stars out of 5 -- "Red blood trickles through winter snow, black humour oozes past a pale smile and cleansing white tofu fills in for a live octopus."
Los Angeles Times - 05/12/2006
"Park is a gifted visual artist with a gift for defamiliarizing even the most prosaic scenes….His style influences performances as well, as the actors shift fluidly from naturalistic bluntness to uncanny expressionism..."
Entertainment Weekly - 05/19/2006
"Misdeed besotted with violence is still the filmmaker's action of choice, and exquisite compositional audacity is still his thing." -- Grade: A-
Sight and Sound - 08/01/2006
"[T]he florid beauty of Park's tightly controlled, endlessly inventive mise en scene is imposing enough to paper over the cracks."
Movieline's Hollywood Life - 09/01/2006
"[S]eriously upsetting....Methodical, chilling..."
South Korean maestro Park Chan-wook concludes his Revenge Trilogy with the operatic, mesmerizing SYMPATHY FOR LADY VENGEANCE. Unlike the first two films in the trilogy--SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE and OLDBOY--this time around, the hero is a heroine. On the heels of her release from prison, Lee Geum-ja (Lee Yeong-ae) embarks on a mission to track down the man responsible for her imprisonment, which also resulted in her being forced to give up her daughter for adoption. Hardened by years in the penitentiary and endlessly fantasizing about the right way to exact revenge, she enlists the help of former cellmates to accomplish her goal. But what she uncovers is a secret so horrifying that no revenge seems fitting.
Employing the same techniques (symphonic music, electrifying cinematography, sharp editing) that made OLDBOY such a thrilling cinematic experience, Park Chan-wook concludes his trilogy on a somber note. Beginning as a flashy, almost lighthearted spectacle, SYMPATHY FOR LADY VENGEANCE gradually reveals itself to be a poignant commentary on the futility of revenge. Fortunately, the director's sheer audacity and technical virtuosity keeps it from succumbing to total darkness.
This filmed screened as part of Lincoln Center's 2005 New York Film Festival.
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