Lee Geum-ja, 19, goes to jail on false charges of kidnapping and murdering a child. In prison, a woman hatches a plan for revenge and wins the hearts of inmates with her own kindness, receiving the name Kind-hearted Lady Geum-ja. After serving 13 years, the avenger, with the help of her prison friends, goes to look for the one who broke her life.
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Chan-Uk Pak’s revenge trilogy is always talked about in connection with the most famous avenger in European culture – the Count of Monte Cristo. Although, in fact, the just avenger was the most beloved figure of Asian folklore long before the appearance of Dumas’s novel. If for the Christian world there was still an alternative way – humility, then there could be only one solution.
Only Chang-Uk Pak, with his “Oldboy”, raised the bar for evaluating his work, which he himself does not even reach these heights. The second part turned out to be very complicated and thoughtful – there the vendetta theme was turned inside out, and the avenger and the victim alternately change their masks.
“Sympathy for Lady Revenge” is much simpler and the heroes here are clearly motivated. Instead of a powerful film, it turned out to be a real dessert – Chang Wook Pak showed himself more of a genius of form than content – there will be no sophisticated plot quirks like in ‘Oldboy’.
But it is not without reason that this time the heroine of the film is a woman. If the hero of ‘Oldboy’ learned to punch scenes, knocked out his teeth and wielded a hammer and a bat. That Kem Ja bakes cakes, solves the problems of his cellmates with a smile, walks on high heels, and shoots from an elegant hand-made revolver – a very impractical thing that has a rather symbolic function – in order to take revenge, you need to get as close as possible.
So, if Oldboy turned out to be powerful and thoughtful, then Sympathy for Lady Revenge is subtle and pretentious, like this lady’s pistol, made according to the drawings of an old spy. Nevertheless, there is a slight ambiguity inherent in the director in this at first glance unambiguous film – firstly, this is an abundance of hidden black humor – when you don’t know to be horrified, cry or laugh. Second, the ending. And in the final part of the trilogy, oddly enough, an open ending – and then what?
Codec: HEVC / H.265 (84.9 Mb/s)
Resolution: Upscaled 4K (2160p)
HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10+
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1
Korean: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Korean: Dolby Digital 5.1
Korean: Dolby Digital 2.0
German: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1