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Sympathy for Lady Vengeance [친절한 금자씨]

January.9.2010

I really love Korean stuff ever since, 2004. Well this movie is not the first movie that I ever watched. But this is definitely one of my favorites. Sympathy for Lady Vengeance is somewhat similar yet different to the plot of Kill Bill. In what way they are similar? Well, it talks about revenge and also it involves a woman seeking revenge against a man who has done her wrong.

Lee Geum Ja (Lee Young Ae, Jewel In The Palace) was then a young and innocent beautiful girl, barely an adult, who becomes a national sensation. Her innocent look is the opposite of what she became known for. She was charged of kidnapping and killing a 5 year old boy. It took the nation by surprise that such an angel like her would commit such heinous crime.

After 11 years, she was finally granted her freedom. Inside the prison, she has been very kind and at the same time evil. It is evil because she killed one of her cruel inmates by slowly poisoning her and kind because she showed kindness to everyone. Hence, her nickname was ‘Kind-Hearted Geum Ja’.

When she got out of prison, bam! She threw that sweet persona away, sported a red eye-shadow and plotted her revenge against the man who really committed the crime that she was accused of doing so.

The movie goes on to the plotting of her revenge and carrying out that plan. And just like any revenge movie, it does not go according to the plan. The one who actually carried out her revenge are the other families of the kids that the guy killed. So all those preparation to kill the guy became the gathering of the families with vendetta.

Why did I like this movie? For one it stars one of the actresses I know. People in the Philippines would probably and most likely remember her as Jang Geum, the palace girl/lady doctor in that Korean drama. Well in this movie, it’s a totally different image. Now you can see Jang Geum not holding a knife for cooking or needle for acupuncture but a gun designed for killing a man.

Another thing that I liked about this movie is the strong visuals. The images are so sharp that you really get the emphasis in the story. Park Chan Wook, the director, always shows this in his movies like Oldboy and I’m a Cyborg but that’s OK.

The musical scoring is also good. I really am a sucker for orchestra music and scores in the minor key so the score for this movie sates my appetite for such. Hearing the soundtrack makes me want to take revenge as well >:).

This just goes to show that the deadliest woman of all is the one least likely to kill. Demure as she may be, she can turn your guts inside out.

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