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Lady Vengeance
DVD disk
10.26.2006 By: Sturdy
Lady Vengeance order
Director:
Park Chan-Wook

Actors:
Lee Young-ae
Choi Min-Sik
Kim Si-Hu

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A woman gets out of prison and seeks revenge on the man that blackmailed her into confessing to a crime she did not commit. When she finally tracks him down, she learns that he was hiding more than she thought.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I was recently in a long discussion about how Hollywood has been relying too heavily on the revenge angle in their action films. Itís always a good excuse to see some senseless killing, but there hasnít been a good twist on it in quite a while. However, when LADY VENGEANCE came out, I was pleased to know that foreign filmmakers have not lost their original take on the subject.

To classify Lady as an action film is not fair. It does contain action, but the film is much more than that. The best part of the film is seeing a seemingly sweet girl turn into a bitter woman. Itís not just an overnight change like some films will have you believe. For Lady, it was a gradual evolution that is a treat for the audience to discover.

But the film actually feels like two different movies. For the better part of an hour, weíre focused on Geum-ja and her manipulation of her fellow prisoners and her quest for revenge. Then thereís a 30 minute break where the film focuses on the revenge of others. Iím hesitant to say too much because I want it to be a surprise for you like it was for me. I will say that this ďbreakĒ is brilliantly done and completely made the film for me. However, the best part of the film is figuring it out. Park doesnít come out and tell you every minor detail. He allows his actors and actresses to tell the audience whatís going on without using dialogue.

If youíre sick of the revenge angle in films, then I ask that you not give up on it just yet. LADY VENGEANCE is a fine film thatís masterfully done. Yeong-ae Le is beautiful as Geum-ja and I look forward to her American debut. After a brilliant turn like this, itís only a matter of time before America falls in love with her. Chan-Wook Park once again turns in a great directorial effort. He adds true emotions and a great plot to give credit to the violence and destruction heís become known for. The score was also wonderful and set the eerie mood throughout the film.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary with Park Chan-Wook and Yeoung-ae Le: This isnít listed anywhere on the DVD or on the menu, but Yeoung-ae Le also appears on this commentary and she makes it great. She and Park are great together and they seem to have a lot of fun together. It does start off a little slow, but give it time because it gets better.

Commentary with Richard Pena: Mr. Pena is a nice addition to this DVD thatís already overloaded with commentaries. His has a lot of ďmeatĒ to it and he mentions the other two films in the revenge trilogy. Itís like taking a film class without the exam.

Commentary with Park Chan-Wook, Chung Chung-Hoon, Hyeon-Seok Choi: This was the last thing I watched and by this point, I felt I had heard all of this before. The commentary is good and moves along really well. The downside is that itís hard to keep up since itís subtitled.

Making of Lady Vengeance (10:45): Iíll say it again, Yeoung-ae Le is an amazing actress. This is a neat little featurette that shows some behind the scenes footage of Ms. Le performing. This is a nice, short featurette and well worth the ten-minute investment.

Interview with Park Chan-Wook (42:06): This gets a little old because thereís a lot of dead time waiting for the translation. It has its moments, but not recommended unless youíre a die-hard Park Chan-Wook fan. If you have to choose, choose the commentary.

There are also some Previews.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Iím not sure how much American audiences will appreciate Vengeance, but if you love movies and you want a new take on revenge, then I highly recommend it. Itís a great film with a great cast and great director.
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